DENMARK – PFA Pension, Denmark’s biggest commercial pension provider, increased its market share between January and June, having won a new staff pensions contract from state enterprise DONG Energy.

Customer contributions rose to DKK12.4bn (€1.7bn) in the first half, up 16% from DKK10.7bn in the same period last year, according to PFA’s interim report.

The company said: “PFA’s position as market leader led to higher contributions and therefore a larger market share.”

In April, PFA won an EU tender to provide pensions for employees in state energy enterprise DONG Energy, which included group life insurance as well as health and other insurance provision.

It said it had signed a new five-year cooperation deal with local pensions network Letpension, which also contributed to growth.

For traditional with-profits pensions, PFA made an investment loss of 2.2%, compared with the 5.6% profit reported in the first half of 2012.

PFA added: “The rise in interest rates in the first half had a big impact on the result in the traditional with-profits environment because PFA had put a large amount of customers’ savings into bonds as a consequence of the yield guarantees.”

However, the investment return for unit-link pensions was positive, at 2.3%, down from 4.8% in the period the year previous.

Unit-link pensions accounted for 64% of PFA’s total contributions in the first half, up from 47%.

PFA Pension’s total assets slipped to DKK361.1bn at the end of June from DKK369.8bn at the end of December.

In other news, PensionDanmark produced investment returns for its pension scheme members of between 0.4% and 3% for the first six months of this year depending on age profile, and trimmed its administrative costs.

In absolute terms, the overall return on investments was DKK2.24bn, down from DKK5.13bn in the same period a year earlier, the labour-market pension provider said in its interim report.

Chief executive Torben Möger Pedersen said: “Our focus is on ensuring low costs and a stable, positive return for our 637,000 members – without taking high risks.”

For members aged 40, the return received was 3% compared with 4.9% in the year-earlier period, while members aged 65 received a 0.4% return, down from 3.1%.

Total assets rose to DKK142.5bn by the end of June from DKK138.8bn at the end of December 2012.

Contributions climbed to DKK2.5bn in the first half from DKK2bn in the first half of 2012.

Costs as a percentage fell to 2.6% from 3%, while membership numbers grew to 636,753 from 620,965.

Lastly, Industriens Pension reported a 1.6% overall investment return in the first half and said it beat its benchmark by 0.7 percentage points.

In absolute terms, the return on investments after tax for the labour-market pension fund was DKK1.2bn, down DKK2.6bn from the same period a year earlier, according to the interim report.

Returns on traditional with-profits pensions were negative in the period while returns on unit-link pensions were positive.

Scheme members with unit-link pensions saw a 2.4% return in the six-month period whereas traditional with-profits based assets made a 2.8% loss, Industriens said.

Contributions fell to DKK3.3bn from DKK3.5bn.

Looking ahead to full-year results, Industriens said it expected contributions for the whole year to remain at around DKK7.6bn and predicted the full-year investment return would lie between 4% and 8%.

“The investment return for the year is dependent on developments in the financial markets and is therefore loaded with great uncertainty,” the pension fund said.

Total assets fell to DKK121.8bn at the end of June from DKK123bn at the end of December.