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Just Retirement equity release sales jump 50 per cent

Just Retirement has recorded a 51 per cent increase in equity release business in the quarter to September 30 compared to the same period last year, jumping from £33.1m to £50m.

The firm’s annuity business increased to £163m up from £150m for the first quarter 2008 while total new business for the group increased to £213m up from £183m last year.

Chief executive Mike Fuller says: “First quarter sales for the group continue to demonstrate the resilience of Just Retirement’s economic model.

“The first quarter has witnessed further change in our markets with lower but still present volatility in capital markets. Our ability to manage these changes and to generate sales growth is a credit to the group. In addition, I am pleased to state that this growth is consistent with our commitment to profitability and capital strength.

“Current trading remains positive. Our competitive position within enhanced annuities is satisfactory and demand is growing. In equity release, while the market is somewhat subdued by continuing concerns over house price valuations, reduced competition has allowed the Group to improve market share.”

At the start of the month, the directors of Just Retirement are recommending a £229.6m takeover by private equity firm Permira.

Permira’s aquisition arm, Avalon Acquisitions, will pay 76p per share for the enhanced annuity and equity-release provider and inject £25m into the business after the deal for new product development.

Just Retirement revealed it had received bid approaches last November and said in June this year that it was working towards a deal with Permira.

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