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Specialist arm drives sales growth at Royal London

Royal London, the UK's largest mutual life and pensions company, has announced further growth in new business for the half year to the end of June 2006.

Total new life and pensions business (on a PVNB basis) increased by 15% to GBP949 million (from GBP823 million in the equivalent period in 2005). Scottish Life’s new business grew up 8% to GBP695 million, from GBP645 million in 2005.

Meanwhile, the Bright Grey specialist protection arm saw sales grow by 18% to GBP79 million.

Commenting on the new business announcement, Stephen Shone, group finance director at Royal London, said: Each of the group’s specialist businesses continues to perform well, demonstrating once again the value of Royal London’s strategy of having distinct businesses focused on key market segments.

In the pensions market, Scottish Life has continued to very deliberately target profitable new business. We have taken a firm decision that we will not destroy capital by writing business which can only ever be profitable on paper – and then only if unrealistic assumptions are made about future persistency.

Scottish Life’s innovative financial adviser’s fee is increasingly being used by IFAs as a way in which they can build a sustainable business model, without the need to regularly re-broke pension plans around the market.

Our protection specialist business, Bright Grey, continues to provide strong new business growth in what has been a contracting protection market overall. Since launch in 2003, Bright Grey has steadily increased market share, and we expect this trend will have continued with these new figures.

Bright Grey’s overall proposition, which is focused on value, is being very well received, as evidenced by its recent appointment to the protection panels for Sesame and Home of Choice, Mr Shone added.