Standard Life's UK life and pensions sales plummeted 20% in Q4 last year as a result of "challenging" second-half market conditions.
The company recorded £2.92bn in Q4 UK life and pensions sales, down from £3.65bn for the same period last year.
Worldwide life and pension sales dipped 14% in Q4, down to £4.02bn from £4.66bn in the same period in 2006.
It was better news for 2007 as a whole, with Standard Life UK life and pensions sales climbing 15% to a record £13.17bn, from £11.44bn in 2006. Worldwide life and pensions sales jumped 12% to £16.31bn.
Standard Life Investments also confronted some difficulties in Q4, with the markets stripping £357m off the value of its worldwide investment product funds under management.
Individual SIPP sales increased by 24% to £4.54bn, with Standard Life further encouraged by SIPP sales so far this year despite the testing market environment.
However, individual pension sales struggled in 2007, down 18% to £782m. Standard Life says the drop from the previous year reflects the heightened activity in post A-day 2006 and the decision not to pay commission on its new business.
Funds under administration on Standard Life’s wrap platform expectedly spiked due to the firm’s further expansion of the product. The wrap now has £1.1bn under administration, up from £0.2bn at the end on last year.
Standard Life group chief executive Sandy Crombie says the “good” 2007 performance consolidates its progress made in previous years.
“We grew worldwide life and pensions sales by 12%, and Standard Life Investments continues to deliver strong growth, despite challenging market conditions in the second half of the year,” he says.
“At our preliminary results on 12 March 2008, we expect to report the achievement of all our financial and efficiency targets for 2007.
“The early indications are that some of the markets in which we operate will remain difficult in 2008.”
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