Resolution, the parent company of Friends Life, has reported an 18 per cent drop in UK sales in the first quarter, from £173m last year to £142m in 2013, as corporate benefits new business plummeted 25 per cent.
The group’s Q1 interim management statement, published this morning, shows corporate benefits sales fell 25 per cent year on year, from £146m to £109m.
Resolution chief executive Andy Briggs says the firm did not compete “aggressively” for new corporate pensions business because pricing was “unattractive” during 2012. He says pricing has now “returned to normality”.
Chief financial officer Tim Tookey says the drop off in corporate sales also came as a result of employers delaying choosing their automatic enrolment pension provider.
Tookey says the firm expects the performance of its corporate benefits business to improve in the second half of 2013.
Retirement income sales were up 67 per cent, from £9m to £15m, while protection sales were unchanged at £18m.
Resolution says it focuses on the value of the new business that it writes rather than the volume.
In the UK, the value of new business written in Q1 increased 30 per cent, from £27m last year to £35m this year.
In addition, Resolution is aiming to reduce costs by £160m by 2015. It says £150m of these savings have already been secured.