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16 Mar 2021 | 08:02

Just Group earnings surge on solid income growth from new sales

(Sharecast News) - Insurance firm Just Group said on Tuesday that full-year earnings had shot up in 2020 thanks to some solid income growth from new sales and strong in-force profit.

Adjusted operating profits rose 9% year-on-year to £239.0m, as higher new business profit and improved in-force return offset higher finance charges, while total revenues increased from £3.82bn to £4.64bn.

Just Group also reported an improved capital coverage ratio of 156%, up from 141% a year earlier, with organic capital generation driven by management actions and capital raising.

The company highlighted that it had reached its capital self-sufficiency goal a year earlier than planned.

However, while Just Group stated it had made "significant progress" to build its capital base to accommodate regulations on equity release mortgages and to start to grow its underlying capital generation, it said "the external environment" amid the pandemic continued to be uncertain and considered that it would not be appropriate to recommend recommencing dividend payments just yet.

Chief executive David Richardson said: "We have achieved a major landmark in the Group's history by achieving capital self-sufficiency. We now have strong foundations in place to continue to grow profits and deliver attractive returns for shareholders. We have the capabilities to innovate and ensure we help more people achieve a better later life.

"Whilst short-term uncertainties exist, the long-term opportunities and structural growth drivers remain clear. With a higher capital base and more resilient balance sheet, we are better able to navigate the uncertain macro environment, while continuing to write new business at attractive margins."

As of 0915 GMT, Just Group shares were up 2.84% at 97.64p.
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