The figuresGroup operating profit before tax at the 200-year-old investment bank and insurer rose nine per cent to £665m for the full calendar year, while group underlying performance was up 12 per cent to £630m. Analysts at UBS had forecast it would come in at £613m.
Why it's interestingThe financial company appears to be weathering the global market turmoil well, although Standard Life Investment's European pensions and savings arm did drop off, drop £39m to £31m. The level of capital surplus at the group should be reassuring given the recent implementation of Solvency II against a backdrop of falling equities. The dividend growth likewise should please investors.
What Standard Life said
Chief executive Keith Skeoch said: "During 2015 Standard Life has made considerable progress towards creating a world-class investment company against a backdrop of volatile investment markets and an evolving regulatory landscape. "We have increased the assets that we administer on behalf of our clients and customers to £307bn with almost two thirds of these assets now coming from our growth channels. Investments are at the heart of what we do and we now manage £253bn of assets across the globe driven by strong investment performance. We continue to see the benefits of our expanding distribution capabilities and strategic relationships with 67 per cent of net inflows of £12.6bn into our institutional and wholesale growth channels coming from outside of the UK. "We also continue to build momentum in pensions and savings across our workplace and retail channels. Regular contributions into our workplace pensions continue to grow strongly while our wrap platform attracted record net inflows and continues to lead in the advised platform market. "While the difficult conditions in global financial markets may persist for some time, Standard Life remains well positioned to meet the needs of clients and customers around the world. The breadth of our investment propositions, underpinned by strong investment performance and innovation, combined with our strength in pensions and savings, the power of a trusted brand and a strong balance sheet, means that we have a well-diversified and resilient business that continues to deliver for customers and clients as well as shareholders."