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.
TUC calls for more social housing
Young workers will not be able to live in their own homes unless the government authorises more social housing construction, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) believes.The government currently plans on earmarking spending for 30,000 social housing units for rent every year over the 2008-11 period as part of its efforts to balance out the supply side of the demand-heavy UK residential housing market....Read More
When will the small business market improve in the UK?
The UK has always been a country which has developed and nurtured literally millions of small businesses over the years. However, the credit crunch and the following recession have severely limited the amount of credit available to small business entrepreneurs in the UK and we have seen a collapse in many ultimately viable businesses purely and simply because of cash flow and finance issues. So wh...Read More
UK government's new homes target by 2020 is all spin
Over the next few days we will hear lots of back slapping at the Labour Party conference, memories of past successes and basically get the impression that they all live in a different world. Well this seems to be the situation in the housing market with the government sticking to its forecast of 3 million new homes in the UK between now and 2020. However, is this really possible? Or is it just f...Read More
Perilous pooches uninsurable?
Pet owners who have a pit bull may find it very difficult to obtain a pet insurance policy, as many large insurance companies are now refusing to provide cover for 'dangerous dogs'.Both Tesco and Churchill are among companies that will not offer pet insurance to any breeds listed under the Dangerous Dogs Act.A spokesperson for Churchill Pet Insurance said: "Certain dog breeds which are considered...Read More
Some UK carers on less than £2 an hour
A report by the Princess Royal Trust for Carers has highlighted the heartbreaking lifestyle which many people in the UK are suffering when looking after sick relatives at home. It is believed that when taking into account the benefits available for home carers some people are working for as little as £1.54 an hour while saving the state around £87 billion a year. The plight of home carers is...Read More