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Bonds boost Pru as L&G sales fall

Prudential saw total group business increase by 14 per cent from £639m to £729m in the first quarter of this year compared with 2007.

UK business volumes were up by 4 per cent from £182m in the first quarter of 2007 to £189m this year.

Pru says the growth of the UK operation was driven by strong performances in with-profits, offshore bonds and equity release.

With-profits bond sales soared by 150 per cent, from £6m to £15m, while equity-release sales leapt by 67 per cent, from £3m to £5m on an annual premium equivalent basis.

Individual annuity sales fell by 3 per cent from £66m to £64m while sales of corporate and individual pensions remained flat at £61m and £1m respectively.

Legal & General, the other insurer to release first-quarter results last week, saw a 1 per cent fall in UK sales, from £338m to £335m.

The company’s bulk purchase annuities business more than quadrupled from £17m to £72m.

Total life and pension business fell by by 25 per cent, from £203m to £152m.

Legal & General group chief executive Tim Breedon says: “We have the financial and operational strength to weather short-term uncertainties while seizing the opportunities which will support long-term profitable growth.”

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