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L&G business up 12% despite annuity falls

Legal & General saw a 12 per cent rise in new business in the first quarter of this year to £433m from £388m in the same quarter of 2010.

But bulk annuity sales plummeted by 87 per cent to £2m from £15m and there was a 19 per cent fall in individual annuity sales to £22m from £27m.

Total annuity new business sales of £24m annual premium equivalent were 43 per cent lower than the £42m in the first quarter last year.

The company says the falls reflect a weak market while the increase in the minimum retirement age in April 2010 caused a one-off spike in activity last year. L&G Investment Management reported £10.8bn worth of new business, a fall of 4 per cent from £11.2bn. Funds under management increased by 8 per cent from £330bn to £356bn.

New business in savings rose by 20 per cent from £267m to £320m, which the firm says is down to growth in workplace pension business and saving products with low capital requirements.

Chief executive Tim Breedon says: “We are ahead of our plans to generate £700m net cash in 2011.”

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