Standard Life sees profits rise

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Standard Life sign
Image caption,
Half-yearly figures showed an increase in Standard Life's operating profits

Standard Life has reported strong growth in its insurance business and assets under management.

The Edinburgh-based financial giant said it had seen a 71% increase in revenue from premiums and deposits when set against withdrawals.

Net inflows in the first half of the year rose to £5.3bn, from £3.1bn at the start of last year.

That left group assets under administration 5% higher than the end of 2009, at £179bn.

It has seen a 52% increase in third party assets managed by its Standard Life Investments division, rising to £63bn.

The half-year figures showed the operating profit before tax up by 10% to £182m, when compared with the tough start to last year when the economy was still in recession.

The interim dividend has been increased by 4.8%.

David Nish, who succeeded Sir Sandy Crombie as chief executive at the start of this year, said the wider economic downturn has encouraged people to save more, and that the company is focused on providing customers with the right products.

He told BBC Radio Scotland the company had come through the downturn "strongly and resiliently". While he could not rule out more job losses with a continuing efficiency drive, he said the intention was to grow Standard Life rather than shrink it.

He claimed the company operated in markets with "exciting growth opportunities", including Canada and India.

He also said the investment division had seen "impressive" inflows of business, providing the company with global reach.

"Standard Life Investments has consistently delivered impressive net inflows over the last five years," he said.

"Its contribution to the Group is considerable and it is a business which provides us with global reach.

"The Group is more focused following the sale of our banking and healthcare operations.

"Our transformation programme is driving efficiency and we are investing to grow our business to be more profitable and cash generative."

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