Standard Life’s profits rose by 7 per cent to £425m last year, up from £397m in 2009.
The company was lifted by a £59m reduction in pension liabilities as a result of the Government’s switch in pension indexation from the retail price index to the consumer price index.
Standard Life says the profit figure would have been only “slightly up” on last year’s results if exceptional items such as the RPI-CPI switch had been excluded.
Chief executive David Nish says: “Our financial performance has been strong, with higher net flows and markets increasing the value of assets and revenues and leading to growth in profits.
“We have also made significant progress to drive efficiencies and are on track to meet our target of £100m of margin improvement by 2012. We have refocused our portfolio and the acquisitions of threesixty, Focus Solutions and Aida Capital have strengthened our capabilities and accelerated the delivery of our strategy.”
Take to market director Paul Matthews says the firm remains “on track” to deliver cost savings of £100m by 2012 and plans to continue investing, with an upgrade to the fund supermarket on the recently launched Adviserzone.
The firm will also look to grow its investment proposition, Standard Life Investments, with the launch of a range of new global absolute return funds.
Assets under administra- tion rose by 16 per cent to £196.8bn, up from £169.7bn.
Hargreaves Lansdown head of advice Danny Cox says: “It makes sense for Standard Life to focus on its investment proposition, which we have been increasingly impressed with for the past few years.”