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Partnership posts 9% sales increase as care sales slump

Year-on-year retirement sales are up 12 per cent for first nine months of the year but expected to fall in Q4.

Specialist insurer Partnership Assurance has seen a 9 per cent increase in new business sales to £931.7m for the first nine months of the year although long-term care sales have slumped 35 per cent over the same period.

New business sales for the nine months to 30 September are up from £857.6m at the same time last year.

Retirement sales are up 12 per cent from £786.7m to £884.3m, but care sales over the period fell 35 per cent from £68.6m to £44.9.

Protection sales have risen 13 per cent from £2.3m to £2.6m.

Over the three months to the end of September, new business sales rose 3 per cent from £292.5m to £300.3m.

Partnership chief executive Steve Groves warned the level of retirement sales is likely to drop in the final three months of the year.

He said: “We do not expect to see growth in our year-on-year retirement sales in Q4 given that sales in the final quarter of 2012 benefitted materially from regulatory change, in particular the introduction of gender neutral pricing.”

The comments prompted Partnership’s share price to fall 22 per cent from 392p to a low of 307p, though it has rallied since. Partnership floated on the stockmarket in June with an offer price of 385p, with a market capitalisation of £1.54bn. 

Enhanced annuity and equity release specialist Just Retirement floated last week, with an offer price of 225p and valuing the business at £1.13bn. As at the end of last week, shares were trading below the offer price at 195.5p.

Key Retirement Solutions director Dean Mirfin says: “We may see more of a spread in retirement sales this year because of the gender directive last year but business levels remain good. With any new float it can take some time before share prices find their real position.”

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