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Standard Life's H1 profits grow by 51% (RTE)

04 November 2011

Standard Life today reported a 51% rise in first-half profit, boosted by once-off gains from a deal to reinsure annuity liabilities and reduce the financial risk posed by people living longer.

The British life insurer also said that, despite difficult market conditions, the outlook for its net flows, sales and profitability remained positive.

The firm, one of the most exposed insurers to UK wealth management which has been hit by a downturn in consumer sentiment, said operating profit, on an embedded value basis, totalled £534m sterling in the six month period. Analysts had forecast operating profits of £525m.

The former mutual insurer said it would pay an interim dividend of 4.07 pence a share, up 7% on the year.

Standard Life, previously the UK insurer with the largest exposure to longevity risk, said in February it had signed a deal with Canada Life, a unit of Great-West Lifeco to reinsure £6.7 billion of its annuity liabilities.

It said that life and pension sales rose 5% to £9.1 billion and its new business contribution rose 4% to £157m in the six month period.