Royal London assets fall to £147bn but profit rises

Barry O’Dwyer

Royal London said its 2022 operating profit before tax increased 58% to £210 million as adverse market impacts on its asset management revenues “were more than offset by the benefits from a continuing focus on cost control, growing the annuity portfolio, and consolidating and simplifying closed funds.”

Assets under management fell to £147 billion from £164 billion “despite the net inflows, as falls in equity and bond markets impacted underlying asset values.”

Royal London is the UK’s largest mutual life, pensions and investment company. It employs more than 1,000 in Scotland and includes the former Scottish Life and Scottish Provident businesses.

The mutual said net inflow remained positive at £3.718 billion, down from £5.287 billion in 2021, “supported by our strong performance track record across our range of asset classes and despite cash outflows from some institutional clients with leveraged LDI portfolios managed by other institutions.”

Royal London CEO Barry O’Dwyer said: “In 2022 we concluded our programme to simplify our business.

“As a direct result, Royal London has been able to increase the value of our long-standing customers’ policies by £675m in total through the consolidation of closed with-profits funds.

:We have also successfully modernised many elements of our business, introducing more efficient digital services for over four million customers whose policies have been moved onto enhanced systems.

“During the year we have continued to see good growth, delivering a 12% increase in new business sales in 2022.

“Supported by our focus on cost efficiency as we have streamlined our operations, this has driven a 58% increase in operating profit.”