Denmark’s Industriens Pension made a 3.7% pre-tax return on investments in the first half of this year, with profits driven in particular by strong gains on its domestic equities investments.

In its interim report, the labour-market pension fund for industrial and food-sector workers said its total assets had grown to DKK163bn (€22bn) from DKK157bn, in the first six months of 2017.

Laila Mortensen, chief executive of Industriens Pension, said: “The first half was marked by rising contributions, more members and a really solid investment return.”

The pension fund’s first half return is up from the 2.7% return produced in the same period last year.

In absolute terms, the return was DKK5.6bn in the first half, compared to DKK3.6bn in the first half of 2016, and DKK11bn for the whole of 2016.

Danish equities generated a 16.8% profit between January and June, private equity produced 7.8%, and corporate bonds returned between between 2.3% and 3.4%, the pension fund reported.

On the other hand, government bonds had produced just 0.2% in return.

The pension fund said the strong return on equities was due to the fact that economic growth had continued over the period, particularly in Europe, combined with the European Central Bank’s monetary policy.

Industriens Pension fund also said in its report that it expected to receive a tax gain of DKK150m as a result of its recent court win alongside PensionDanmark and other Danish pension funds.

The pension funds received a ruling from the National Tax Tribunal (Landsskatteretten) in their favour this summer in a case against the the Danish Customs and Tax Administration (SKAT), about taxes withheld from foreign investments between 2010 and 2014.

PensionDanmark said at the end of August that it had added an extra DKK218m to its profit in the first six months of this year as a result of the court win.