UK - Alexander Forbes, the parent company of actuaries Lane Clark & Peacock, has reported a 17% decline in first-half pre-tax profits.

The South Africa-based firm - rocked earlier this year by a pension fund fraud case and currently facing a takeover bid - said pre-tax profit for the six months ended September 30 fell to ZAR340m (€36m) from ZAR412m a year before. Income from operations rose 12% to ZAR2.9bn.

Total international trading results fell 45% in sterling terms to £2.7m, with income up 5% at £112.0m. International pre-tax profit fell to ZAR34m from ZAR103m.

Its Investment Solutions' international trading loss widened to £0.4m from £0.3m - which the company said represented its investment in growing the client and asset base.

The UK Investment Solutions business reached the £1bn assets under management mark in October.

The UK-based DC Link administration business incurred unspecified "increased trading losses" - although it continued to grow members under administration.

Alexander Forbes said: "The loss of a white labelling agreement concluded at the time of acquiring the business contributed to the increased losses for the period."

Grant Stobart, chief executive of Alexander Forbes International, told IPE: "DC Link has successfully delivered growth since we acquired the business from Schroder Pensions in 2003. 

"Part of the acquisition included a white labelling agreement which has now reached the end of its planned life. Our focus has been on containing costs and growing the business organically. A key metric for DC-Link  is  increasing the members under administration to achieve critical mass."

The earnings report also said Lane Clark & Peacock reported "further revenue and profit growth off the high bases recording in the previous year", although a spokesman said the firm would not break these numbers out.

Last month Alexander Forbes received a ZAR8.3bn (€875m) bid from an investor group led by the UK's Actis and including Ethos and Harbourvest Partners LLC.