Royal London’s pre-tax profits rose 11 per cent last year as life and pensions sales rocketed.
The mutual’s annual results, published this morning, reveal operating profits – excluding exceptional items – increased from £220m in 2014 to £244m last year.
Life and pensions sales rose 40 per cent, from £4.8bn to £6.8bn. Advised pensions sales accounted for £6.1bn, up from £4.5bn last year, while the protection arm’s contribution increased from £338m to £502m. Direct-to-consumer sales for the year were £165m, up from £34m in 2015.
Royal London Asset Management suffered a drop in new business inflows, from £3.8bn to £3.1bn, in a year of “turbulent market conditions”.
Sales at Ascentric, the mutual’s platform, increased marginally from £2.2bn to £2.5bn, while assets under administration surged 13 per cent, from £8.9bn to £10.1bn.
Royal London chief executive Phil Loney says: “The last year saw a record breaking trading performance which brought with it a healthy increase in operating profit. New business growth was particularly strong, with sales of group pensions and income drawdown products going from strength to strength.
“The fourth quarter of the year saw pension sales reach new highs, which is particularly satisfying as it follows on from the announcement that we will in future be sharing part of our profits with pension customers through our unique ProfitShare arrangement.
“It is also pleasing that following considerable investment in our protection proposition, sales of protection products through intermediaries are now surging ahead.
“Our direct-to-consumer division is now making significant headway in the market segments where it operates by providing better value for money and fairer products than the market incumbents. The strong growth in revenues has allowed a substantial increase in investment in the business at the same time as growing profits and strengthening the capital position of Royal London. “