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.
Squatters take over £30 million Park Lane mansions
It has been revealed that two empty mansions on Park Lane London, with a combined value of over £30 million, have been taken over by new-age squatters. There are serious concerns that squatters will be forced to look at vacant properties around the UK as the economic crisis continues to hit the UK public hard. It would appear that the group, which is growing by the day, obtained entry to the prop...Read More
BRC defends store cards
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has said that it is down to customers themselves to decide whether store cards are an "appropriate choice".Provided the rate of interest on store cards is "made clear to customers" and "there is full transparency of all terms and conditions" it is up to consumers to judge whether a store card is right for them or not, said Dale Atkinson, press officer for the BR...Read More
Greece authorities confirm budget funded until mid-March
In a bid to silence concerns within the worldwide investment markets the Greek authorities have confirmed that their budget requirements are covered up until mid-March. However, in some ways this move has backfired and effectively created a timetable for change which is very short. It is no secret that the European Union has demanded massive budget cuts from the Greek authorities in exchange for p...Read More
UK government help for credit card holders could backfire
This week will see the UK government publish a report on the UK credit cards and store card system and various practices used by the industry to increase profitability. One of the major elements under review will be the "minimum monthly payments" demanded by credit card companies which have fallen from around 5% to between 2% and 3% over the last few years. The UK government believes the minimum p...Read More
UK stock market powers ahead again
The FTSE 100 has today powered ahead by nearly 100 points with more and more investors becoming optimistic about the worldwide economy and the potential uplift in the UK economy. As we have mentioned over the last few days, the UK economy seems to be out of sync with many worldwide economies such as America and European counterparts, but many investors believe this is just a short-term blip.