Just Retirement's new business figures have fallen almost 4% over the past twelve months, with equity release making up the bulk of the business slowdown.
The firm says it remains resilient in times of extreme financial turbulence and has seen its fortunes improve on a quarterly basis.
New business in the three months to 30 September 2008 hit £183.5m, down 3.8% from £190.8m during the same period in 2007.
Equity release mortgage advances have slipped 15.8% to £33.1m since 2007 as the firm has increased interest rates to deal with the high volume of sales seen a year ago.
Annuity sales were down slightly compared with the third quarter of 2007, at £150.4m, a 0.7% fall. The firm says annuity business has grown 5% compared with the second quarter of 2008 as the firm begins to explore new markets.
Mike Fuller, chief executive of Just Retirement, comments: “Just Retirement’s business model continues to demonstrate considerable resilience in extremely volatile economic and market circumstances.
“This is not just evident in terms of the impact of the natural financial hedges inherent in our model but also in our approach to managing sales and margins between our two core products.”
Fuller emphasises the firm’s strong capital base as a key indicator of its ability to cope with the market downturn, with core tier one capital at £111.4m against a minimum requirement of 358.5m, giving a 190% solvency ratio.
The group holds £1.5bn in assets under management and has adopted a cautious investment policy by increasing exposure to cash, gilts and AAA-rated stocks.
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