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LV= reports boost in annuity sales despite expected Budget hit

LV= has reported a 30 per cent year-on-year rise in annuity sales despite Budget reforms which the firm expected would dent volumes.

In an interim trading statement published today, LV= says overall sales in its life insurance business are up to £732m for the six months to June 2014, a 12 per cent rise from £651m for the same period last year.

The figures were boosted by a 32 per cent rise in annuity sales, up from £176m to £232m.

LV= says it had expected annuity sales to be hit by the Budget freedoms but admits profit margins are lower.

LV= group chief executive Mike Rogers says: “In our life business sales are up over £80m compared to this time last year which is a good achievement given the background of budget changes announced in March that affect our retirement business.

“These strong sales reflect our quick customer focused actions after the Budget including the launch of a new one year annuity and a new simplified drawdown product. We initially expected annuity sales to be significantly down but sales have held up well and are up over 30 per cent year-on-year, albeit at lower margins.

“In Q2 post-Budget we saw sales of £117m, slightly more than Q1 demonstrating our continuing strength in this area.”

Protection sales remained flat year-on-year while equity release increased 54 per cent from £37m to £57m.

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