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Park Row to boost adviser numbers after £1.6m loss

Park Row, the distribution arm of the Royal Liver Group, made a loss of £1.6m in the first half of this year.

Turnover was £7.4m, 16 per cent off its £8.7m target and 28 per cent lower than £10.3m recorded in the first half of 2007.

Finance director George McGregor says Park Row is now focusing on increasing its total of advisers by 10 to 15 per cent over the next year from its current figure of 247.

McGregor says: “We are leaving no stone unturned to get the right quality advisers into Park Row by the opening period in 2009.

“We are being quite deliberate with the types of advisers we are seeking to get on board and are looking for the right quality adviser writing the right quality of business at the right volumes.”

McGregor says Park Row is well positioned for the retail distribution review due to its focus on quality advisers.

Overall, Royal Liver reported a £2.4m operating income surplus. The group’s online protection provider, Progress, saw a 27 per rise in business with new business allowances 42 per cent ahead of budget.

McGregor says: “Progress had a cracking half-year. Two things have driven that the competitiveness of its products and the protection business that is written is not as correlated to mortgage transactions as its competitors.”

He says the group expects Park Row to make no oper- ating profit during the second half of the year and slower business volumes are likely to be seen at Progress due to the current market conditions.

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