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'Robust' first half

Royal London ‘ready for Brexit’ as O’Dwyer prepares to take over

Barry O'Dwyer

Barry O’Dwyer: new CEO

Royal London, Britain’s biggest mutual insurer, posted a strong first half and said it is “well prepared” for Brexit.

Gross inflows increased to £12.6bn (H1 2018: £9.6bn) driven by external institutional business wins and strong flows into Royal London Asset Management.

RLAM achieved record assets under administration of £130bn as at 30 June (31 December 2018: £114bn) through positive investment returns and net inflows.

EEV operating profit before tax was flat at £187m in line with the prior period (H1 2018: £187m). The company said the result includes strong growth in RLAM external business, offset by the expected reduction in Individual pensions.

Life and pension sales decreased 4% in H1 2019 to £5.8 bn(H1 2018: £6bn) primarily due to a reduced level of defined benefit transfers, partially offset by higher Workplace pension sales from new entrants to existing schemes and new scheme wins.

IFRS profit before tax increased to £411m (H1 2018: £190m).

Confirming that Barry O’Dwyer will join the company as CEO from Standard Life on 23 September, chairman Kevin Parry said: “First half trading was robust. RLAM won new mandates on the back of strong investment performance across asset classes.

“New business in pensions was marginally lower reflecting the industry-wide reduction in defined benefit transfers, offset by higher workplace sales. Consumer and protection traded in line with expectations, making excellent progress in the Irish market.

“Royal London is well prepared for Brexit and will continue to monitor carefully any developments that might affect our business and customers. We will keep customers informed of significant developments relevant to their policies.

“We continue to maintain a robust capital foundation to allow us to invest in our future core products and propositions whilst also innovating to deliver better outcomes for customers in underserved markets.

“The board looks forward to welcoming Barry O’Dwyer as Group Chief Executive on 23 September.”

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