SLI increases assets by 20% in six months

UK - Standard Life Investments (SLI) has increased its assets under management by a fifth in the first half of this year to over £46bn (€68.1bn), according to the life insurer group's latest figures.

Details of Standard Life's interim results reveal the SLI division increased its profit by 43% on an IFRS basis to £40m while its funds under management increased 20% to £46.1bn as a result of "substantial retail and institutional third-party mandate wins".

In contrast, the Standard Life group as a whole saw its underlying profit before tax fall by 10% on an IFRS basis to £219m, compared with £243m in the previous 2006 period.

Worldwide investment net inflows also increased 61% to £5bn, while net inflows for its pensions business were slightly lower than in the previous six months, amounting to £1.5bn in H1 2007 compared with £1.8bn in the six months between June and December 2006.

Standard Life has banked a significant chunk of its future in the pension arena on the growth of self-invested personal pensions (sipps) - a form of defined contribution executive pension plan with wider investment options for the individual investor - in part because they seen these as higher margin products, so the firm soon intends to "leverage [sipps] into the group pensions market".

"We expect the UK life and pensions market to continue to experience good growth over the medium terms" said Standard Life in its results.

There is still an EEV operating loss from the group's sales in Europe, albeit they have now reduced from £25m to £14m on the back of "the positive experience variance in Germany in H1 2006", according to the firm, but sales has climbed 54% in constant currency to £513m.

As a result, Standard Life now intends to develop its product range further into Europe as well as broaden its distribution.

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