Royal London went into the black in 2009, with the group boosted by pensions sales and a strong take-up of its Ascentric wrap.
Profit after tax (EEV basis) was £404m for last year compared to a loss of £762m in 2008 although operating profit was down at £171m compared to £213m in 2008.
The group's profit from new life, pensions and asset management business rose 25% to £80m, compared to £64m in 2008. There was also a strong showing for the Ascentric wrap with assets under administration up 94% to £1.15bn.
Meanwhile, the value of new life and pensions business premiums rose 10% to £2.46bn over the year.
Royal London's stronger performance in 2009 has allowed the firm to pay a mutual dividend of £25m for with-profits policyholders, after beiong unable to pay the dividend last year.
The group said its capital position had also improved compared to last year when it was impacted by difficult economic conditions and the acquisition of Resolution from Pearl.
"In difficult conditions we have achieved a good overall performance. We have grown our sales, increased our profits from new business and further strengthened our capital position," says group chief executive Mike Yardley.
"The performance of our businesses is very good in the prevailing conditions, with the former Resolution businesses producing a substantial contribution to our profits. The Group is financially strong with the IGD surplus increasing by a third during the year and Group embedded value up by 28% to over £1.8bn."
Royal London confirmed it is at an early stage of discussions about merging with friendly society Royal Liver, although added there is "no guarantee" a deal will take place.
Gérald Harlin has been appointed executive chairman
Daunting without ad valorem feees
Elevated redemptions expected
'Should be forever young'
New manager likely to be appointed