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Zurich UK profits up 6% as sales rocket

Zurich has seen life insurance profits for its UK business climb 6 per cent on the back of a surge in year-on-year sales.

The insurer recorded operating profits of £115m, up from £108m in 2013. The firm attributes the growth to “improved persistency” of its in-house book, meaning it has sold more to existing customers.

New business value climbed 17 per cent, from £107m to £125m, while sales measured on an APE basis surged 41 per cent, from £650m to £917m.

However, the provider also saw new business margin drop from 16.4 per cent to 13.6 per cent due to an increased proportion of lower-margin corporate savings and retail business.

Zurich UK Life chief executive Gary Shaughnessy said: “There is momentum behind all areas of our business. Our corporate business is maintaining growth, the persistency of our in-force book is evident, and our retail platform saw increasing volumes against the backdrop of a very competitive market, particularly in the second half of the year.

“The economic environment remains challenging, with yields continuing to fall with low interest rates. That’s why we continue to operate our business appropriately and responsibly, illustrated by the efficient management of our pricing and the diversification of our customer offering.”

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