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LV= returns squeezed to 5.7% after glittering 2006

LV= was hit by the credit squeeze last year, producing an investment return of 5.7 per cent for 2007, halved from 11.2 per cent in 2006.

The firm had a 1.2 per cent loss on property investments compared with a 22.2 per cent profit on property in 2006.

Life business profit before tax nearly halved from £209m in 2006 to £106m last year, which the company says is wholly attributable to the exceptional investment returns in 2006. Protection sales were strong at the start of 2007 but were hit by the Government’s decision to end pension term assurance. Protection business (annual premium equivalent) was £156m for 2007, down from £17.5m in 2006. Annuity business rose strongly to £4.2m from £1m while six months of sales from the acquisition of Tomorrow brought in £9.8m for total business of £35m last year, up from £25.8m in 2006.

Group chief executive Mike Rogers says: “2007 was the first year of our five-year transformation plan. Our underlying performance was encouraging and lays a solid platform for future growth. Our life and pension business performed strongly and is in a good position to take advantage of expected growth in the retirement market.”

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