(Sharecast News) – Just Group backed its expectations for the year on Tuesday as it reported a near doubling of its first-half retirement income sales thanks to a strong annuities market.
In an update for the six months to the end of June, the company said retirement income sales rose to £1.9bn from £879m in the same period a year earlier. Defined benefit sales jumped 149% to £1.4bn and Just Group said it completed 35 transactions during the period, up from 14 a year earlier.
Just Group said the DB market has been consistently busy and this momentum is expected to continue.
Retail sales rose 54% to £0.5bn. Just Group said the retail annuity market was “buoyant”, as higher interest rates have increased the guaranteed returns from annuities, and made them more attractive to financial advisers and customers.
It said the annuities market had its busiest six-month period since pensions freedoms reforms in 2014.
“Given the strong new business growth in the first half of 2023, we are highly confident of achieving our financial ambitions for the full year,” the company said.
“Our delivery so far in 2023 and positive ongoing momentum further supports our confidence in Just’s ability to deliver 15% growth in underlying operating profit per annum, on average over the medium term.”
At 0805 BST, the shares were up 6.2% at 81.99p.