NORWAY – Pre-tax profit at Storebrand Investments more than halved to NOK8m (€1m) in the first quarter of this year, from NOK17m a year earlier.

“The decline in profitability from the first quarter of 2004 is the result of lower revenue from management fees,” the group stated in its earnings report.

Total revenue at the unit slipped to NOK67m from NOK78m. Revenue was hit by If’s decision to transfer funds away from the fourth quarter last year.

Storebrand’s assets under management have risen by NOK6bn since the start of the year, rising to NOK171bn. It manages NOK25bn for external clients. Net new business fell to NOK500m from NOK700m a year earlier.

The firm also said that it set up 160 defined contribution pension schemes in the first quarter of this year – taking its client base to around 1,200. It set up 460 schemes in 2004.

Overall, Storebrand made a group profit of NOK314m, up from NOK224m. "The first quarter results demonstrate a continuing strong performance by Storebrand,” said group chief executive Idar Kreutzer.

“We are achieving satisfactory results for customers and shareholders, and are well placed for continuing growth in the market for long-term savings in life insurance.”