Denmark’s Sampension has reported a 78% rise in one-off contributions over the first three quarters of this year, which it said was a sign of the increased corporate pensions business it has been working towards.

Hasse Jørgensen, chief executive of the DKK250bn (€33.5bn) labour-market pensions provider, said: “We can now confirm our aim towards growth in the corporate sector is bearing fruit.”

Interim figures showed that, between January and September, contributions overall rose to DKK6.3bn from DKK5.8bn in the same period last year – a rise of 7.6%.

This has been driven by a 78% increase in one-off contributions to DKK868m.

“We have a solid basis within traditional labour-market pensions, which is now being supplemented by new customer groups, which are slowly but surely becoming integrated as part of our overall business,” Jørgensen said.

Ongoing contributions rose by DKK123m to DKK4.95bn in the first nine months of 2015 from the same period last year.

Sampension said it was very positive that this growth had happened despite there now being fewer employees working for the state and municipalities – workers who make up the lion’s share of Sampension’s customers.

It said it aimed to build up its business outside the traditional groups.

In the third quarter, it launched a new corporate pensions product suitable for small and medium-sized companies.

“The growth in customers,” Jørgensen said, “will help keep our costs for all client groups among the lowest in the industry, and we are convinced there is good synergy between our traditional customers from state and council workplaces and the customer base we are in the process of building up in the corporate pensions market.”

Sampension said returns for traditional with-profit pensions came to 0.1% in the first nine months of this year, down from 16.6% over the same period in 2014.

Returns for unit-link pensions were negative, at between -0.2% and -0.5%, after positive returns of 6.4-9.2% in January to September 2014.

Sampension put the performance down to general instability in the financial markets.

Solvency coverage, however, rose to 394% at the end of September from 270% at the end of last year.

Sampension attributed this shift partly to the decision by many customers to move out of guaranteed products, as well as a fall in credit spread risk.

Total assets rose to DKK246bn at the end of September from DKK230bn at the same point last year but were down from the DKK257bn value stated at the end of December.