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Standard Life profits up 51 per cent

Standard Life’s gross operating profit jumped 51 per cent to £534m in the first half of this year, compared to £353m in 2007.

Individual Sipp sales dropped 19 per cent to £2.1bn, but Standard Life says it expects the UK Sipp market to double in size to £100bn of assets by 2011.

Individual Sipp funds under administration increased by 12 per cent to £8.6bn, up from £7.7bn at December 31 2007.

Funds under administration on Standard Life’s wrap platform increased by 36 per cent to £1.5bn, up from £1.1bn at the end of December last year.

Annuity sales decreased by 2 per cent to £252m, compared to £257m for the same time last year and 91 per cent of annuity sales came from customers with maturing Standard Life pensions, down from last year’s figure of 95 per cent.

Standard Life’s interim dividend reached 4.07p, representing an increase of 7 per cent

Group chief executive Sandy Crombie says Standard Life has had a successful first half of 2008 despite difficult market conditions.

He says: “In our life and pensions business, net flows were strong, sales showed good growth and profitability was maintained. In Standard Life Investments, net inflows offset the impact of market declines so that third party funds under management remained constant. Group operating profits were well ahead and our balance sheet remains robust with strong solvency ratios maintained.

“Looking ahead we will continue to drive further efficiency gains, whilst investing in our businesses where we identify opportunities for growth. Our innovative product set, excellence in customer service and strong distribution relationships leave up well placed for the full year. Reflecting our progress in the first half and our confidence about the future, the board is increasing the interim dividend payment by 7 per cent.”


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