(Bloomberg) — Legal & General Group Plc’s shares gained in London trading after the insurer said 2014 will be a record year for its corporate bulk annuities business, mitigating a 61 percent slump in sales to individual retirees.
Britain’s largest manager of pension assets sold 3.4 billion pounds ($5.4 billion) of corporate annuities in the nine-months to Sept. 30, boosted by 223 million pounds in the third quarter, Chief Financial Officer Mark Gregory said. Third- quarter sales of the product to individuals more than halved to 125 million pounds from a year earlier.
“We have a high degree of confidence that we will write about 8 billion pounds of annuities in 2014,” Gregory said on a call with reporters today from L&G’s London offices. “That’s double the record volume we wrote last year. The pipeline for bulk annuities is good.”
The shares rallied 2 percent to 235.3 pence at 10:09 a.m., extending its gains this year to 5.7 percent. That’s still the worst annual performance since 2011. About $6 billion was wiped off the U.K.’sinsurance industry’s market value in March after Chancellor of Exchequer George Osborne’s budget scrapped rules that pushed Britain’s retirees to buy an annuity.