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Britannic ends talks as it fails to find buyer

Britannic Group has blamed market conditions after it failed to find a buyer despite posting satisfactory new business figures for the first half of the year.

IFA sales through its asset management arm almost doubled and annuity sales through its Retirement Solutions subsidiary nearly tripled.

Total retail life, pension and investment business for the first six months slid slightly to £39.7m equivalent premium income from £42.1m the previous year.

Britannic Assurance was the poorest performer in the group, reflecting its restructuring following the disbandment of its unprofitable direct salesforce. Business halved to £12.9m from £23.5m for the same period in 2001.

Sales at mortgage arm Britannic Money were down by 11 per cent to £357m from £399m last year. But it says sales were deliberately held lower than in 2001 to focus on quality and maintaining a prudent loan-to-value ratio of 60 per cent.

But BRS saw a dramatic increase in business to £157.8m from £55.1m in the first half of last year. BAM also did well, with funds sold through IFAs rising to £64.2m from £38.9m.

Britannic Group chairman Harold Cottam says: “These are satisfactory new business results in the light of tough marketplace conditions and Britannic&#39s continued focus on margin as well as volume.

“As part of our strategic work, we have explored a number of opportunities over the last four months and have concluded that in current market circumstances it is unlikely that full value can be achieved through an offer for the group as a whole.

“Consequently, discussions with potential parties have been discontinued.”

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