Pensions and investments group Royal London has reported strong full year growth, thanks to record-breaking performance and cost savings.
New business in Royal London's life and pensions arm was up 40 per cent to £6.7bn, as the financial firm also improved operating margins by two per cent to 43 per cent, achieved as operating efficiency initiatives were "embedded across the business".
Operating profit before tax and exceptional items rose 11 per cent to £244m, driven by growth in its pension and insurance businesses and the record new business figures. New business profits rose to £137m, up from £85m in 2014.
Embedded value has exceeded the £3bn mark for the first time - up six per cent to reach £3.2bn, following good total profit performance.
Group funds under management rose three per cent to £84.5bn, thanks to net inflows and good performance against difficult markets.
And Royal London's capital position has been strengthened, with surplus regulatory capital up four per cent to £3.54bn, after £350m was raised through a subordinated debt issue in November.
Why it's interesting
Royal London is one of the more buoyant financial firms out there at the moment, having reported a record-breaking performance and "healthy increase" in operating profit.
The fourth quarter of the year saw pension sales reach new highs, which the group said was "particularly satisfying as it follows on from the announcement that we will in future be sharing part of our profits with pension customers through our unique ProfitShare arrangement".
In fact, the amount paid to eligible policyholders rose 17 per cent last year to £70m.
What Royal London said
Group chief executive Phil Loney said: "Our strategy of focusing on creating the best outcomes and the best experience for our customers reflects our position as the largest customer-owned company across our chosen markets. Our strategy continues to produce pleasing results and over the last four years Royal London has doubled its life and pension sales and has nearly doubled assets under management."
A bullish update from Royal London in a potentially tricky year.