Pensions  

Just business flat as merger savings exceed target

Just business flat as merger savings exceed target

Pension provider Just has seen its business stay broadly flat as the cost savings of its recent merger exceed expectations.

In its trading update for the nine months to the end of September 2017, the company revealed the savings of the merger between Partnership and Just Retirement, which created Just, have now exceeded the target of £45m.

In a statement to the London Stock Exchange this morning (1 November), the company said these savings are a “key element” of delivering a better return on equity.

Just also announced that total retirement sales for the nine-month period were 1 per cent less than the same period for 2016.

Total retirement sales for the nine-month period were £1.26m compared to £1.27m for the same period last year.

Rodney Cook, chief executive of Just, said: “Our focus on margin rather than volume continues to deliver profit growth.

“This disciplined pricing approach and further progress in achieving cost synergies mean margins and internal rate of return (IRRs) continue to improve.

“The group's return on equity will benefit as a result, and we remain on track to deliver a sustainable capital model.

“Our successful focus on sustainable growth in attractive markets gives us increasing confidence of delivering on full year expectations.”

In the nine-month period the company had £564m of new business for defined benefit de-risking compared to £607m of new business for its annuity service.

These were both broadly flat, going down by 2 per cent and up by 1 per cent respectively.

On a quarter-by-quarter basis defined benefit de-risking new business spiked towards the end of the period, going up from £125m to £269m between the first and third quarter.

Meanwhile its annuity arm has seen new business sales increase from £174m in the first quarter to £217m in the third.

damian.fantato@ft.com