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.
Purchasing managers index shows growth
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Brits urged to carry out financial detox
Britons wishing to avoid becoming "financially overweight" should conduct a financial detox of their outgoings, a UK lender has advised. According to a study conducted by Lloyds TSB, 46 per cent of Britons are financially overweight - a condition the bank says applies when their debt is much greater than their savings. Meanwhile, 12 per cent are deemed to be financially obese, a category that mean...Read More
How did the pension fund actuaries get it all so wrong?
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Headline inflation rises to 3.4%
Headline inflation in the UK increased to 3.4% in March with rising fuel costs and a weaker currency said to be behind the 0.6% increase on February. When you consider analysts had expected a figure to be around 3.1% this is something of a blow for the recovery of the UK economy but there are hopes it may be short lived if the price of fuel falls back in the short to medium term. The economic r...Read More
Distressed investment funds on the increase
In a sign of the times it has been revealed that a number of "distressed investment funds" have taken substantial stakes in some of the U.K.'s best-known companies. One such company is JJB Sports where Crystal Amber, an activist fund, has taken a near 15% stake in the troubled sports retailer over last few days. This is a situation which has and will be repeated across the UK economy as another ex...Read More