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Friends new business up by 51 pc in Q1

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Friends Life saw a 51 per cent increase in new business in the first quarter of 2011, boosted by the acquisition of Axa UK Life and Bupa Health Assurance and strong group pensions sales.

Total sales in the first quarter of 2011 were £270 million APE, compared to £178 million for the same quarter in 2010, with £66m of the £92m increase due to the acquisitions. Friends Provident business sales grew 15 per cent over the period.
Group pension sales rose 71 per cent to £113m in the quarter are, with Friends Provident contributing £85m and the acquired Axa UK Life businessescontributing £28m.
The provider says the acquisition of BHA, which adds group life and group critical illness to the existing income protection offering, boosted sales in the period to £5 million representing what it described as a significant improvement on 2010. The Friends Life brand was launched at the end of March bringing together Friends Provident, the acquired Axa UK Life businesses and BHA.
Trevor Matthews, chief executive of Friends Provident Holdings (UK) plc, says: “The figures show a solid start to the year for our new company, Friends Life. In the UK, underlying performance and the significantly increased size and scale of the company are reflected in a near doubling of new business on an APE basis. With clarity on our chosen individual and group protection models and key markets, significant developments underway to our workplace savings proposition, and following our successful launch as Friends Life in March, we are looking forward to continued progress and improving the performance of our company during 2011.”

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