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Finance World

Bumper year for annuities boosts UK insurer Just Group

 British insurer Just Group said on Tuesday it had been boosted by bumper sales of retirement income products so far this year as rising interest rates help drive demand from retail investors.

Just Group said in a trading update that its new business sales had more than doubled to 1.9 billion pounds ($2.5 billion) in the first six months of 2023 versus the year-earlier half.

The market for retail annuities – which offer customers a guaranteed income in retirement – had its busiest period since Britain enacted pension freedoms reforms in 2014, the company added.

Just Group shares gained 7% in early trading.

Analysts at RBC said that Just’s trading update showed that “business is booming”, adding it planned to increase its profit forecasts for the company by about 4% on average over the next three years.

The company said it was on track to hit its financial targets, including delivering an average 15% growth in underlying operating profit per annum over the medium term.

Just also said that the introduction of the Financial Conduct Authority’s Consumer Duty, and the findings from the FCA’s thematic review into retirement income advice, were likely to increase the use of guaranteed solutions to help savers invest for their retirements.

CEO David Richardson said Just’s Defined Benefit de-risking business – which helps pension providers manage financial liabilities to scheme members – was also “going from strength to strength”.

The unit achieved its largest transaction to date in excess of 500 million pounds over the period and is seeing a record pipeline of new business opportunities for the second half, the CEO said.

Source : Reuters



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