Profits slip for Friends Provident
Life assurance firm Friends Provident has announced a three per cent drop in pre-tax profits which could impact upon its 2008 target.The firm saw profits slump from £524 million in 2005 to last year's £509 million, despite new business profit growth in the UK reaching close to 70 per cent.However due to the "challenging protection market" the London-based insurer operates in, the firm warned that it may struggle to meet the targets it set in October last year.Six months ago, the company announced a "demanding" 2008 target of £180-£200 million in new business profits, a goal it may not meet."Although we remain committed to achieving this target, the product mix and, in particular, the level of protection sales, which has been subdued in recent months, will be critical," said Philip Moore, the group chief executive."It is early days, and we are making progress towards our goal, but the prospects for a more challenging protection market, and the impact on our 2008 target, will not be fully understood until later in 2007."The announcement of last year's profit slide caused the firm's shares to dip by seven per cent on Tuesday morning.
The hidden cost of New Year celebrations
A report out today by the Policy Exchange has cast a very different shadow over this evening's New Year celebrations with an estimate that it will cost the NHS £23 million to treat patients who have drunk too much over the next 24 hours. This is a damning indictment of the drinking culture in the UK and the underlying cost to the economy which is often hidden from view. This is further fuel to...Read More
Councils spend more on compensation than fixing our roads!
It has been revealed that councils throughout the UK are paying out more in compensation to drivers than they are fixing the roads of the UK. Last year councils throughout the UK spent £52.3 million repairing holes in the road while at the same time paying out £53 million in compensation to drivers alleged to have suffered damage to their vehicles because of the state of roads in the UK. Is th...Read More
Government borrowing undershoots target for the year
Despite the fact that £23.5 billion was borrowed just last month by the government, the highest figure since the end of the second world war, total government borrowing for the fiscal year 2009/10 came in at £163 billion which is less than the £167 billion forecast in last month's budget. So what does the future hold for the UK government and the UK budget deficit? There's no doubt that the...Read More
Recession in Britain set to last 18 months
City analysts today warned the government that the British economy is set to witness a recession which could last up to 18 months. Capital Economics predicts that the gross domestic product for the UK will fall for the first time since the recession of 1990, down by 0.2%. However, it has also been warned that these predictions may be fairly conservative ones - with analysts preparing for even larg...Read More