JUST RETIREMENT, the pensions and property specialist, has crossed the £1bn sales mark for the first time but is braced for a difficult second half as the stockmarket treads water.
The company said sales of annuity policies and equity release mortgages rose 33 per cent to a little more than £1bn in the year to June. Chief executive Rodney Cook, who joined last month, said progress on annuities had been fuelled by a decision to slash the average underwriting time from 30 days to 20 days.
“That’s a benefit to the customer and to the independent financial adviser (IFA), because they’re being rewarded for the hard work they’re doing without having to wait for months,” Cook said.
Head of marketing David Cooper said annuities sales had slowed in the last quarter, adding: “At the moment the market outlook for the second half is far from clear, largely because of the volatility we’re seeing in the stockmarket.”
Permira bought Just Retirement for £228m in November. The business turned a profit of £32.1m in 2009.