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.
Manufacturing output slips in January
Britain's factories suffered a 0.2 per cent monthly decline in output during January.New figures released today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveal the slip, which contributed to an overall increase in output in the three months to January of just 0.1 per cent.The fall has been primarily attributed to a strong pound, hitting demand for British products which rely heavily on exports,...Read More
Tesco staff share record payout from company share scheme
It is believed that more than 55,000 Tesco workers will be sharing a £144.4 million windfall as two of the company's employee share schemes reach maturity. In simple terms, every pound invested has now doubled in value due to the strength of the Tesco share price over the last five years. It is understood that approaching 10,000 employees saved the maximum £50 a month over the last five years un...Read More
KPMG Slated Over Fall of Independent Insurance
Led by the enigmatic Michael Bright, Independent Insurance was one of the darlings of the City for many years, producing figures which not only seemed to go against market trends, but seemed just too good to be true. Ultimately this proved to be the case with the company suddenly collapsing in 2000 with the loss of hundreds of jobs.
As well as the job losses, the Financial Services...
BT pension fund setback
BT, the UK telecoms giant, was today informed by the telecoms regulator that there is no obvious reason why the company should be allowed to increase wholesale charges in order to help plug the gap in the company's pension scheme. The company had hoped that the regulator would look favourably upon the request to increase wholesale charges which would have helped to pay down the £9 billion pension...Read More
European Union officials demand more cuts from the Greek government
In what is fast becoming something of a stalemate between the European Union and the Greek authorities, today we saw a number of prominent EU officials step forward with a suggestion that the Greek authorities need to introduce more budget cuts in the short term. This call comes despite a planned nationwide strike by various public and private sector workers who are concerned that their employment...Read More