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Friends Provident sees strong pension sales growth

Friends Provident saw total life and pensions business rise 33 per cent in the first half of 2005 but says the market is difficult to call in the run up to A day.
Total life and pensions new business weighed in at 282m on an APE basis, up from 212m in the first half of last year.
Much of this was driven by strong domestic growth with total new UK business up 15 per cent from 176m to 202m.
Group pensions business was up 28 per cent from 86m to 111m and individual pensions up 9.5 per cent from 11.6m to 12.7m.
Another boost for the group was F&C boosting assets under management by 3 per cent to 128bn from 125bn.
Protection business slipped by 3 per cent from 35m to 31m although the insurer says this was a market trend.
Friends Prov International managing director Rocco Sepe says: “Margins have held up well and we have not seen any because of multi-tie deals. The market is very difficult to call in terms of how it goes in the run-up to immediately and immediately post.”

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