DENMARK - PFA Pension has overtaken Danica Pension to become Denmark's biggest pension provider, third quarter results have revealed.

Contributions at PFA Pension rose 23% year-on-year by the end of September, with total contributions now DKK14.2bn (€1.9bn). 

Net profit climbed to DKK442mn between January and September, up from DKK345mn in the first nine months of 2009.

Total assets rose to DKK366bn by the end of the third quarter, up from DKK 245bn during the same period in 2009.

This meant PFA has overtaken Danica Pension to become the country's second-largest pension fund behind ATP, with assets under management of DKK296.3bn and DKK516bn respectively at the end of September. PFA is also the largest supplementary pensions provider on the Danish market.

PFA said the growth in assets compared with the end of 2009 - when assets totalled DKK253bn - was due to trades related to the movement of assets from PFA Pension to subsidiary PFA Professionel Forening.

"At the moment we are seeing very positive progress in customer contributions to PFA, which are now at a historically high level," said Henrik Heideby, chairman of the PFA Group.

"The progress in contributions shows that PFA is now the biggest provider of pension plans in the Danish market," PFA said.

Within total contributions, PFA said it saw the most rapid growth in its unit-link product where contributions surged 64% to almost DKK2bn.

"We expect even stronger growth in these contributions as customers are offered the new pension product PFA Plus," it said.

Group investment return for January to September was DKK29.9bn before tax, equating to a pre-tax 12.5%. PFA called the return "very competitive" and pointed out that it had been the only Danish pension provider to deliver a positive investment return every single year since 2001.

Strong performance in equities lay behind the overall investment result. "Danish shares alone contributed with 25.2%. Bonds produced a return of 9.9%, underpinned by [...] very good performance in corporate bonds which produced a return of 16.2%," the provider said.

Administrative costs fell to 3.9% of contributions for the nine-month period from 6.7% for the whole of 2009, PFA said, attributing the fall primarily to an extraordinary rebate of consumer tax.

PFA Pension, which is a commercial pension fund but also customer-owned, was reporting interim results for PFA Holding Group.