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IFA sales buoyant but Pru total dips

Prudential business fell during the first quarter of this year despite a

greater con^_-
tri^_bution from IFAs.

New life and pension sales were down to 1.47bn from 1.55bn in the same

per-
iod last year.

Total insurance and investment sales through the life office&#39s retail

section were down by 15 per cent on the first quarter of 1999 at 494m.

But the Pru says the figures demonstrate signi^_ficant improvements in

prod^_uc^_tivity bec^_ause salesforce numbers have fallen by 36 per cent to

1,829 over the same period.

In the three months to the end of March, new insurance and invest^_ment

sales through IFAs were up by 21 per cent
to 1.2bn from 964m in the

same per^_iod last year.

The life office says this growth reflects strong sales
of pooled

personal pension funds and the inclusion of three mon^_ths of M&G sales,

totalling 190m, offset by lower sales of annuities.

IFA and direct sales of M&G products in the quarter were down by 34 per

cent to 317m.

But the Pru says it is enc^_our^_aged by the highest equity fund sales at

M&G for five years. The first quarter
saw highly concentrated flows

into a small number of tech^_nology funds whereas, last year,

cor^_por^_^_^_ate bond funds were buoyed by exceptional sales.

The Pru&#39s online banking operation Egg launched its online investment

supermarket in the first quarter. Following a limited launch to existing

Egg deposit account cus^_- tomers, the supermarket has attracted 14m in new

funds.

Egg has also announced a credit card tie-up with a major high-street

chemist and has taken a stake in IFonline.

Prudential group chief exe^_cutive Jonathan Bloomer says: “We are

continuing to make good progress in implementing new business models for

our retail insurance busines^_ses and in developing our IFA operations.”

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