Standard Life’s UK life and pension business rose by 25 per cent in the first half of the year in its first set of results since flotation last month.UK life and pension sales rose to 594m on an APE basis compared with 475m in the same period last year, largely driven by strong increases in single-premium business. Sipp sales were up by 75 per cent to 105m compared with 60m. Group pension business fell by 2 per cent to 228m from 233m but Standard’s group Sipp, launched last November, reached sales of 22m. Sales in investment bonds increased by 121 per cent to 86m from 39m. Group chief executive Sandy Crombie says: “It is particularly pleasing to see strong performance in our target markets in the UK, notably Sipp and investment bonds.” Standard Life Bank and its healthcare business both saw declining sales. The bank’s gross mortgage sales fell by 16 per cent to 1.2bn compared with 1.4bn. The healthcare business also saw a drop in sales from 11m to 10m.