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.
Home insurance flood effort 'going well'
The government minister in charge of flood relief has received a progress report on the recovery effort from last summer's extreme weather.After speaking to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), John Healey said that home insurance firms' efforts were well on track.Three quarters of those forced into alternative accommodation thanks to flood damage to properties are expected to be back home b...Read More
Standard life rejects takeover of Tomkins
Standard Life, one of the largest investors in the UK stock market, has this week rejected a £2.9 billion takeover offer for engineering conglomerate Tomkins. While the indicated offer, from a Canadian consortium, was well above the Tomkins share price at the time there are growing fears that overseas investors are using a weakness in the UK exchange rate and a weakness in the UK stock market to...Read More
£6bn lost on cancelled holidays
With a recent study revealing that over £6 billion was lost last year through people cancelling holidays they have already booked, Britons have been reminded of the importance of taking out a comprehensive travel insurance policy.According to the insurer More Than, who released the findings, while many people book their holidays well in advance, many fail to take out insurance and therefore leave...Read More
John Lewis feeling the pain
When you hear news that the bell weather of the UK high street, John Lewis, is suffering from falling sales and profits down 27% for the first half of 2008 then you know we are in trouble. While this will come as no surprise to those who watch the group (as they issue weekly sales updates) the fall in profits to £107.3 million is still a tough pill to swallow. So what is happening on the high s...Read More
Is deflation still a threat?
While there have been many different factors discussed with regards to the ongoing UK recession one which has disappeared from the headlines of late has been the threat of deflation. Depending upon which economic indicator you follow the UK has entered a deflationary period over the last few months although this would appear to be something of a short term blip.
Deflation is the pro...