Personal Pension  

JRP Group post profits increase of 55%

JRP Group post profits increase of 55%

Just Retirement Partnership Group has reported operating profits rose 55 per cent in the six months ended 30 June 2016.

Operating profits were £51m, and profits before tax were £226m for the same period.

Elsewhere, guaranteed income for life sales increased by 52 per cent to £321m, which according to the group makes it the largest annuity provider in the market.

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Defined benefit de-risking sales of £164m were lower than in 2015 as expected, according to JRP.

Since the end of June over £330m of defined benefit sales have been transacted with lifetime mortgage advances of £255m up 71 per cent.

As of the same six month period ending 30 June 2016, the shares are worth 153p, at a net asset value of £1.4bn.

Embedded value - calculated by adding the adjusted net asset value and the present value of future profits of the group - sits at £2.1bn or 227p per share.

In August this year, Just Retirement and Partnership Assurance Group announced they were set to merge and to be rebranded as the JRP Group, in a move to capitalise on market changes since the at-retirement reforms.

Shares in annuity providers including Just Retirement and Partnership were hit hard by former chancellor George Osborne’s pension freedoms, which saw a scrapping of the need for most people to buy an annuity.

Rodney Cook, group chief executive, said: “Our new business margin is starting to demonstrate the opportunity we have for potential further improvement as we deliver the cost synergies.

“We have seen a considerable increase in guaranteed income for life sales, which demonstrates the capability of the combined organisation and our competitive positioning in the open market.

“Our progress in defined benefit is also strong, with sales of over £330m since the end of June, more than double the amount we completed in the whole of the first half.

“We continue to see a large and increasing pipeline of defined benefit opportunities. Mortgage advances have also performed strongly, which positions the group well for a strong second half in retirement product sales.”

Mr Cook added the firm is successfully adapting its business model to the new capital environment.

“The combination of increased margins, synergy delivery and a current coverage ratio of 134 per cent, together with low gearing, gives us confidence in the long term growth prospects of the group.”

Richard Ross,director of Norfolk-based Chadwicks, said: “I think this is an incredible turnaround.

“Many must have written off both businesses within five minutes of hearing of Osborne’s misguided Pension Freedoms.

“That they have managed to restructure and refocus their businesses in such a short time suggests they have a dynamic and exceptional leadership team. I can think of several larger providers who would struggle to achieve half as much.”

ruth.gillbe@ft.com