Just Group completed £460.3m of bulk annuity deals in the six months to 30 June, its half-year results have revealed.
The figure is 10% down on the corresponding period in 2019, although it maintained that the "pipeline of potential future transactions remains strong and is higher than it was pre-Covid-19".
The insurer said it had completed further defined benefit (DB) de-risking transactions totalling around £200m since 30 June.
In the report, it said: "The DB de-risking market continues to be buoyant, with transactions continuing at pace despite the Covid-19 disruption. We anticipate that sales in the second half of the year will be significantly higher than the first half."
Just Group's bulk annuity sales include a £160m buy-in with the Leonardo Electronics Pension Scheme, two buy-ins worth £66m with the NG Bailey Scheme, and a £5m buy-in with the Premaberg Holdings Limited Retirement Benefits Plan.
However, with guaranteed income for life sales also tumbling by 10% to £259m and the insurer facing higher finance charges, adjusting operating profit fell 18% from £76m to £62m.
Overall, retirement income sales fell by 10% from £831m to £745m.
Group chief executive David Richardson said: "We are focused on improving the group's capital position and over the past 15 months we've been transforming the way we do business in order to deliver a more sustainable and resilient model. In this context I am very pleased with our progress in the first half of 2020 - our capital coverage ratio has increased to 145% during a turbulent and difficult time in financial markets.
"The solvency balance sheet has been resilient, and we've achieved substantial organic capital generation, driven by a number of significant management actions. We recognise there are short term macroeconomic uncertainties, including the UK property market, but we have multiple levers at our disposal, and we are demonstrating our execution credentials."
He added: "We are optimistic about the future. We hold leadership positions in valuable segments of economically attractive markets and will continue to innovate to selectively grow our participation in these markets. The transformation continues, our business is resilient, our thirst for innovation is unabated and we have lots of energy because there is much more we want to achieve."
Professional Pensions analysis finds some £12.5bn of bulk annuities have so far been agreed this year in a market somewhat dampened by the Covid-19 crisis. Last year, around £17.5bn of deals had been agreed by the end of June. However insurers and consultants are predicting a busier second half of the year.
The ICI Pension Fund has completed its ninth buy-in with Legal & General (L&G), insuring a further £70m of benefits and bringing total insured benefits with L&G to around £5.8bn.
The Littlewoods Pensions Scheme has completed a buy-in covering just under £930m of around 6,500 members’ benefits with Rothesay Life, the majority of which relate to deferred members.
There have now been a total of over 50 buy-in and buyout deals of over £500m announced since 2007. The full list is as follows...
Longevity swap usage is expected to grow further as more reinsurers enter the market to hedge the risk of deferred members, according to Mercer.
The Countrywide Farmers Retirement Benefits has secured a £100m buy-in with Legal & General, insuring members’ benefits above Pension Protection Fund (PPF) compensation levels.