Standard Life has reported a 62 per cent increase in UK pre-tax operating profit for the first half of 2012, from £87m to £141m, as the provider gears up for automatic enrolment and the retail distribution review.
The rise in UK profits was driven by a 5 per cent increase in fee based revenues, from £309m in the first half of 2011 to £325m this year, and a 21 per cent reduction in acquisition expenses, from £107m to £84m.
Profits from Standard Life’s fee based business rose 31 per cent, from £118m to £155m, while corporate pension profits were up 60 per cent, from £25m to £40m.
Total assets under administration on the provider’s platforms increased 19 per cent, from £10.8bn in the first six months last year to £12.8bn this year. There was a 17 per cent increase in advisers using its wrap, from 926 to 1,087 with the average assets under advice for each firm increasing from £8.2m to £8.8m.
Total Sipp customers increased 22 per cent to 147,000 while assets under administration increased nearly 10 per cent, from £16.4bn to £18bn.
Standard Life UK chief executive Paul Matthews (pictured) says: “The 62 per cent increase in the UK’s operating profit shows we have made the right decisions to prepare the business for the regulation changes facing the industry in the coming months and years.
“The implementation of RDR is just 139 days away and our retail business is well positioned to help advisers prepare for the future and ensure they are in a position to trade profitably in 2013 and beyond.
“The fact that we have been operating on an adviser fee, non-commission basis, for a number of years now means we are on track to deliver our RDR programme ahead of schedule and will be fully compliant from 15 October.”
Standard Life’s UK business was the catalyst for a 15 per cent increase in the group’s overall pre-tax operating profit, from £262m in the first half last year to £302m this year.