JUST GROUP PLC

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Just : profit inches up, sees sales pick-up in second half

08/13/2020 | 01:02am

Insurer Just Group posted higher first-half earnings on Thursday as strong in-force profit cushioned a slump in new business profit, and it forecast sales to be significantly higher in the second half.

In-force earnings are generated from the back book of annuities as capital is released over time, while new business profit is the income from new sales.

Underlying operating profit edge up to 117 million pounds ($152.98 million) for the six months ended June 30 from 114 million pounds a year earlier.

Just Group, which specialises in annuities for people with a reduced life expectancy, said its Solvency II capital coverage ratio improved to 145% from 141% at the end of 2019.

"The Group continues to manage its capital position and outlook following the significant regulatory changes relating to equity release mortgages," the company said.

"Taking this into consideration with the present economic uncertainty, the Board is not recommending the payment of an interim dividend."

Just Group did not pay a dividend last year either amid the regulatory changes.

The company said it remained exposed to further downgrades and future defaults on its corporate bond portfolio, as well as to a fall in house prices in the UK.

($1 = 0.7648 pounds)

(Reporting by Muvija M in Bengaluru; editing by Carolyn Cohn and Subhranshu Sahu)

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