JRP share price rises after first quarter returns beat expectations

 
Oliver Gill
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Reigate Town Hall
JRP is headquartered in Reigate (Source: Getty)

Retirement specialists JRP surprised the market by beating bullish expectations of its first quarter figures.

Shares in the FTSE 250 firm rose over 4.5 per cent in trading.

The figures

Overall sales grew by 13 per cent to £436m in the three months to March. Defined benefit product sales leapt by 191 per cent from £43m to £125m.

Guaranteed income for life sales rose by seven per cent to £174m.

Lifetime mortgage advances fell 29 per cent to £107m

Why it's interesting

It is just over a year since JRP floated on the stock exchange following the merger of Just Retirement and Partnership Assurance.

The merger has quickly bedded in, with cost synergies (£45m so far) being realised ahead of time.

Read more: JRP boss: Britain needs to get its act together on retirement planning

First quarter sales beat consensus expectations of £396m, beating more bullish expectations by Numis analysts of £426m.

Marcus Barnard, a Numis analyst, said the first quarter performance showed "disciplined growth".

He added: "We believe the company is on track to grow profitability by writing high margin new business, while maintaining the capital base and paying dividends to shareholders.

"We expect the dividend to continue to grow at six per cent, the surplus capital to remain around or above £700m, and for the company to continue being selective in writing new business."

What the company said

Chief executive Rodney Cook said:

While maintaining our strong focus on margins and profit growth, I am delighted that we have also been able to grow sales in the first quarter of 2017.

Our core guaranteed income for life and defined benefit products both grew well, confirming the momentum of these segments. The DB market offers sustained growth, and our pipeline in the below £250m segment remains very encouraging.

The directors remain comfortable that the Group’s capital position is appropriate to deliver the growth and returns that we are targeting. Overall we have enjoyed a solid start to the year and we remain on track to meet our expectations.

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