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50% Equity-release rise for Just Retirement

Just Retirement saw a 51 per cent increase in equity-release business in the quarter to September 30 compared with the same period last year, jumping from £33.1m to £50m.

The company’s annuity business increased by 9 per cent to £163m from £150m for the same quarter in 2008 while total new business for the group increased by 16 per cent to £213m from £183m last year.

Chief executive Mike Fuller says: “This quarter has witnessed further change in our markets, with lower but still present volatility in capital markets.

“Current trading remains positive. Our competitive position within enhanced annuities is satisfactory and demand is growing. In equity release, while the market is somewhat subdued by continuing concerns over house price valuations, reduced competition has allowed the group to improve market share.”

At the start of the month, the directors of the comp- any recommended a £229.6m takeover bid by private equity firm Permira.

Permira arm Avalon Acquisitions is offering to pay 76p per share for the enhanced annuity and equity-release provider and would inject £25m into the business after the deal for new product development.

Just Retirement revealed it had received bid approaches last November and said in June this year that it was working towards a deal with Permira.

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