Friends Provident interim results show continued profit growth

Friends Provident has released its interim results for the half year ending June 30 2005, showing profit before tax up 46% to 233m, and profit before tax up 221% to 334m.

Under international financial reporting standards, underlying profit before tax is up 24% to 125m, and profit before tax is up 476% to 196m.

Friends Provident achieved underlying earnings per share up 11% to 7.2p per share. F&C IFRS earnings per share are up 21% to 7.95p per share. Interim dividend are also up 2% to 2.6p per share

The results also show capital resources excess over capital requirement of 1.5bn, and risk capital margin covered over seven times.

Overall, total new life and pension business APE is up 33% to 282m, and gross contribution to profits from new business is up 40% to 52m.

Keith Satchell, group chief executive at Friends Provident, says: “This has been another period of consistent profitable growth and of delivering service excellence to distributors and customers alike.

“Contribution to profits from UK new life and pensions business continues to grow, demonstrating the quality of our proposition and our focus on key market segments.

“Also, profits from the Group’s asset management and international operations have doubled following the acquisitions of F&C and Lombard.

“Overall, the Group’s performance demonstrates the new size and diversity that underpins our momentum.

“We see genuine opportunities for profitable growth in virtually all the market segments in which we operate, so the prospects are good for the remainder of this year and beyond.”