Forecasts beaten

Phoenix raises dividend after strong cash generation

Standard Life house

Phoenix now occupies Standard Life House

Long term savings group Phoenix posted record figures and raised its dividend following big brand acquisitions, including Standard Life.

The company reported its highest ever cash generation of £1.717 billion in 2021 (2020: £1.713bn), exceeding its £1.5bn-to-£1.6bn target range for the year.

About £400million of this cash generation was attributed to cost savings arising from the integration of the Standard Life and ReAssure insurance brands.

The company said it is preparing to fully leverage the Standard Life brand to accelerate growth.

Operating profit increased to £1.23 billion in 2021 (2020: £1.12bn).

The board is recommending a 2021 final dividend of 24.8p per share, which includes its first ever organic dividend increase of 3% (2021 total dividend: 48.9p per share). This means the stock is trading on a yield of 7.8%.

Assets under administration increased to £310bn as at 31 December 2021 (2020: £307bn).

Shares, which have fallen 14% over the year, closed 0.96% higher at 632p.

CEO, Andy Briggs said: “It has been an outstanding year for Phoenix, with a record set of financial results and significant strategic progress made as we fully embraced our purpose.

“2021 marked a pivotal moment for Phoenix, with £1.2 billion of new business from our Open business more than offsetting the run-off of our Heritage business for the first time.

“This demonstrates that Phoenix is a growing, sustainable business, and enabled the Board to recommend our first ever organic dividend increase of 3%. Phoenix has also today announced a new dividend policy which sets out our intention to pay a dividend that is sustainable and grows over time.”

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