Mutual life and investment group LV= has reported a drop in sales of 14% for the first half of the year, despite seeing a hike in group pre-tax profit of 144%.
LV= sales in the life business were down 14% to £74.3m (on an APE basis) from £86.0m in first-half 2012. It also saw group underlying operating profit decrease from £73.8m to £48.2m, and life underlying operating profit drop to £11.1m from £14.5m.
In a statement, it said that new business sales and underlying operating profit were affected by the Retail Distribution Review and the Gender Directive. In annuities, sales fell by 51% -the company said it focused on returns rather than market share.
Despite this, the group saw pre-tax profit increase of 144% from £36.1m in half-year 2012 to £88.4m for half-year 2013.
>This increase in pre-tax profit was the result of the group raising £350m of tier 2 capital via a subordinated debt issue which "strengthened the balance sheet to support planned profitable growth in core business lines", according to a statement.
LV= group chief executive Mike Rogers said: "We are pleased with the resilient results achieved in the first half of the year with pre-tax profit increasing despite the challenging competitive market.
"Our strategy of providing the over 45s segment with good value products through multiple distribution channels, backed up by high levels of customer service, is delivering results.
"We are well placed to benefit from the UK's on-going demographic changes and our multichannel distribution approach allows us flexibility to select the most attractive channel for growth and profitability at any given time.
"I am therefore confident we can continue to grow the business in future years."
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