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.
Morrisons announces best Christmas in the food sector
While Morrisons has often been the butt of many jokes in the food sector with the likes of Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury racing away it would appear this trend has most certainly reversed over recent months. The company announced a like for like sales increase of 8.2% in the six weeks covering the Christmas period which was towards the top end of analysts expectations of between 7% and 8.5%.
Is the Bank of England out of touch with growth forecasts for 2011?
A survey of economists and analysts in the UK has today cast doubt on the assumption that the UK economy will grow by 3.4% in 2011. The general feeling now is that the UK economy will grow by no more than 2.5% which is a significant difference to the current forecast. So how has the Bank of England got it so wrong? The current economic growth forecast in place at the Bank of England was formul...Read More
Equitable Life sufferers to receive compensation
The government has finally come clean with regards to the shocking saga of the collapse of Equitable Life. Many thousands of UK investors lost substantial amounts of money when the former insurance company collapsed after a bid to reduce its mortgage guarantee liabilities. The announcement of a compensation scheme administered by the government comes with an apology from Treasury Minister Yvette C...Read More
Lib Dems announce 4p tax cut plans
The Liberal Democrats have said that they would slash the basic rate of income tax by four pence if they were elected to form a government.Unveiling the proposals the party stressed that the tax cut aimed at low and middle income earners would be paid for by fiscally targeting the rich and those with "environmentally damaging lifestyles".Plans to cut income tax from 20p to 16p will take the basic...Read More
Has the UK property sector bottomed out?
Today's news that Bovis Homes has raised £60 million via a share placing, with the intention of spending funds on "cheap land", is yet another indication of the upbeat sentiment in the UK house building sector. Only a few weeks ago we saw the vast majority of house builders in the UK issue disappointing profits but ultimately positive comments going forward with the general opinion that the worst...Read More