Just merger delivers £30m in cost savings as annuities stabilise


JRP Group, the company born out of the merger between Just Retirement and Partnership, says the annuity market is stabilising as the combined group reports £30m in cost savings.

Its results, published today, show the business made a pre-tax operating profit of £163.7m, up 58 per cent from £103.5m in 2015.

The merger between the two retirement income providers has resulted in cost savings of £30m as at the end of last year, out of a total £45m cost cutting exercise by 2018.

Total retirement sales have fallen 14 per cent from £2.1bn to £1.8bn, following a drop in defined benefit derisking sales.

Annuity sales, which JRP now calls “guaranteed income for life” products, are up 2 per cent year-on-year from £762.8m to £778.1m.

The company says: “This confirms the stabilisation of the market after the introduction of pension freedom and choice. It is our expectation that our addressable share of this market will grow in 2017, with increasing proportions of people buying this product on the open market.”

Before pension freedoms Just Retirement and Partnership had a 60 per cent market share of annuities sold on the open market. The combined group now has almost 50 per cent.

Drawdown sales rose 22 per cent from £20.6m to £25.2m.

JRP group chief executive Rodney Cook says: “This has been a challenging period for the two predecessor businesses and for the new group. I am very pleased to be able to report a very strong performance that has been achieved while making significant progress in transforming and integrating our businesses and delivering our merger synergies.

“We are now in the later stages of the merger integration process. There are significant further savings to make, but now in more complex areas such as systems and IT. Our staff have shown considerable adaptability over the last year, and we appreciate their commitment despite the additional pressures of the merger.”

In January JRP group unveiled its Just brand, the name the combined business trades under and which is being rolled out across the group.