UK - Legal & General has reported an increase in operating profits of 6% to £626m, first half year figures reveal, with its buyout business a strong factor in its success.
It said growth in pension buyouts had increased 350% as sales trebled to £1.4bn.
Legal & General group chief executive Tim Breedon said he expected the overall pension buyout market, which totalled around £3bn to £4bn in 2007, to reach £10bn in 2008, but even this remains small compared with the total size of pension fund liabilities in the UK.
He said: "Annuities are continuing to see a surge in new business which began in the last quarter of 2007, with the demand for pension buyouts remaining high."
L&G Investment Management also had a good first half attracting inflows of £17.6bn, more than in the same half last year and taking total funds under management to £286bn at the end of June.
The firm also reported an increase in operating profit on an International Financial Reporting Standards basis of 1% from £386m in the first half of 2007 to £391m in the first six months of this year.
Meanwhile tough trading conditions in the equity markets meant that net profits were hit by losses on investments, down from £672m to £56m.
However Breedon expects the losses to be smoothed out over time.
He added: "We have probably seen the worst of the declines in asset values. A lot of bad news is currently priced into markets."
Hargreaves Lansdown and Liberty SIPP have again been named as the slowest two providers to move pensions through Origo's Transfer Service.
The Pensions Regulator (TPR) increased its use of frontline powers by 32% over the last year, it confirmed in its annual report and accounts.
The Pensions Regulator (TPR) is considering plans to combine its 15 codes of practice into a single, shorter code as part of its 'clearer, quicker and tougher' initiative.
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) does not know how many people it has fined for breaching pension tax relief rules, a Freedom of Information request has revealed.