Royal London plunged to a £236m loss in the first half of 2008, as the group's revenue was hit by a negative £1.63bn investment return.
The company, which recorded a positive £632m investment return in H1 last year, saw its profits plunge from the £305m posted in the previous period (IFRS basis).
On an EEV basis however, which excludes the volatility of investment markets, the group increased operating profit before tax from £77m to £100m.
Royal London says its loss was compounded by a £114m reduction in its pension scheme surplus.
The Royal London fund fell 6.4% after negative returns in all asset classes, while the Scottish Life fund lost 4.4%.
Royal London group chief executive Mike Yardley says the company posted a “solid set of results” amid the difficult markets.
“EEV operating profit, the key indicator of our performance, is up 30%,” he says.
“The loss after tax is a reflection of investment markets where, along with every other insurance company, we had significant negative returns.”
Yardley says although protection business Bright Grey has struggled with the mortgage market downturn, other areas are increasing new business.
“The IFA market continues to value companies which offer strong propositions for product, investment and overall service, backed-up by specialist expertise,” he says.
“Royal London is such a company and we are committed to building on our strengths for the long term.”
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