Royal London New Business Up

London (Reuters) – 4 May 2009

Royal London said its new life and pensions business for the first quarter is up 27 percent on 2008 to 529 million pounds boosted by units acquired from Resolution last year.

Mike Yardley, group chief executive at the UK life and pensions company, said that with the economic environment remaining challenging, "we expect that new business will continue to be difficult for the foreseeable future".

Gross new business excluding cash mandates for Royal London Asset Management, the mutual insurer's fund arm, stood at 327 million pounds for the quarter, compared with 620 million pounds in 2008, down 47 percent.

The company said RLAM had been directly impacted by the economic environment, but there was "an encouraging pipeline of new business", with good demand for fixed income strategies, and "an increasing appetite" for the equity range.

Group funds under management stood at 32.5 billion pounds at the end of March, compared with 35.0 billion pounds at end-December 2008.