Legal & General has recorded a drop of 2 per cent in its UK new business levels in 2003, but saw growth in the last quarter and is holding out strong hopes for further recovery this year.
The group saw UK sales drop to £794m annual premium equivalent from £810m in 2002, with worldwide business falling by 2 per cent also to £886m ape from £904m in 2002. However, in the last quarter of 2003, total UK new business rose 6 per cent to £186m ape from £175.5m. It is now managing funds valued at £138bn.
Group chief executive David Prosser says: “Consumer savings in the UK were held back in the early part of 2003 by the volatility and
decline in equity markets. Against this backdrop L&G performed well.
In the second half of 2003, our core UK individual business returned to growth with new business increasing by 4 per cent in the third quarter and by 6 per cent in the fourth quarter. We believe 2004 will see further recovery in equity markets and it is this steady progress which will restore consumer confidence in savings products.”