Marks & Spencer Financial Services increased its half year profits by 20 per cent to £45m, from £37.5m buoyed by a surge in life and pensions news business.
M&S Financial Services saw its new annualised life and pensions business grow 98 per cent to £1.9m in the half year to September 1998, compared with £993,000 in the same period last year.
The growth came on the back of an aggressive re-pricing of its term assurance. New single premiums surged 359 per cent to £660,000, from £145,000 and annual premiums rose 94 per cent to £1.9m from £979,000.
M&S increased funds invested in its four unit trust businesses by 143 per cent to £146m over the half year, up from £60m in the same period last year.
Total funds under management rose 33 per cent to £865m, from £650m.
The finance arm plans to roll out a cash and equity Individual Savings Account in April.