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Skandia: Continued strong growth in sales, up 22%


[2006-05-10 8:34]

As from 1 February 2006 Skandia is a member of the Old Mutual Group.

Please note that the format and content of this statement, along with the attached tables, follows Old Mutual standard reporting format. Accordingly, this statement comprises New sales (Annual Premium Equivalent basis[1]) for Unit Linked, deposits for Mutual funds and Assets under management.

All comparative figures pertain to the corresponding period a year earlier, unless otherwise stated.

Skandia delivered continued growth in sales during the first quarter of 2006, with total mutual fund deposits increasing by 77% to SEK 13.3 billion, driven by good performance across the UK and Europe & Latin America markets. Strong growth was also experienced in total unit-linked sales on an Annual Premium Equivalent basis, increasing by 22% to SEK 3.3 billion compared with SEK 2.7 billion for the equivalent period last year.

Increased sales, coupled with buoyant equity markets contributed to the 8% increase in funds under management to SEK 691 billion at the end of March 2006, compared with SEK 640 billion at the end of December 2005.

UK & Offshore – unit-linked sales up 31%
Excellent growth was experienced across unit-linked UK based products during the quarter, driven by the momentum created by the tax year-end and the strong equity markets. Unit-linked sales increased by 31% to £152 million for the three months to
31 March 2006, compared with the same period in 2005.

Sales of Skandia UK’s pension products contributed £59 million to total unit-linked sales, an increase of 99% on the equivalent period last year, as advisers continue to consolidate their clients’ pension portfolios in response to the release of the Pensions ‘A’ Day regulations.

Unit-linked bond sales in the first quarter were stable following price refinements made during 2005 in order to secure margin improvements and increase capital efficiency. The sales growth of 13% to £52 million in Skandia UK’s offshore arm, Royal Skandia, was largely driven by solid growth in the UK and Middle East. The market uncertainty surrounding the tax treatment of trusts following the release of the UK Budget in March 2006 may, however, result in a decrease in new business volumes in the second quarter of 2006.

Mutual fund deposits of £286 million also showed growth of 59%, benefiting from the continued industry shift towards fund platforms and the significant increase in sales towards the end of the tax year.

The strong growth in the UK segment in the first quarter benefited from new fund launches, continued service innovation and Skandia’s well recognised reputation in the IFA channel, further supported by the naming of the business as ‘Company of the Year’ at the recent Money Marketing awards.

Europe & Latin America –underlying unit linked sales growth of 50%
2005 first quarter life sales were affected by the EUR 29 million overhang of tax-driven sales in Germany, and sales were 8% lower in the equivalent period this year as a result. However, the underlying trends are very strong with underlying unit-linked sales increasing by 50% for the first quarter, due primarily to growth in Italy, France and Poland. These countries benefited from strong momentum in their local unit-linked markets.

Mutual fund deposits experienced excellent growth, increasing to EUR 690 million, compared with EUR 276 million for the equivalent period last year, driven by the success in delivering high sales volumes in Spain and Colombia.

Nordic - sales up 15%
Unit-linked sales during the first quarter increased by 15% to SEK 559 million compared with the first quarter of 2005, with sales in Sweden contributing 10% towards this increase. In the key corporate client segment, sales increased by 5%, whilst sales in the private client segment increased by 30%, mainly driven by the success of the “Kapital­pension” products introduced in the first quarter of 2005 in response to changes in local tax regulations.

Other information

Skandia Liv
Premiums written by Skandia Liv in Sweden amounted to SEK 3,686 million during the first quarter of the year, compared with SEK 2,984 million during the same period a year ago, an increase of 23%. New business sales[2] for the first quarter were SEK 356 million, which was 23% higher than the same period in 2005, when new business sales totalled SEK 289 million.

Future reporting
Skandia’s interim report for the first quarter of 2006 will be released on 31 May 2006. The report will only state the result according to IFRS and will not include any result according to the embedded value (EV) method. In connection with Old Mutual’s acquisition, work has been started on the adaptation of reporting and calculation of Skandia’s EV to Old Mutual’s principles. The effects on EV of these adaptations will be presented in connection with Old Mutual’s Capital Market Day on 20 June 2006 in London.

Skandia previously announced that the last day of trading in Skandia’s shares on the Stockholm Stock Exchange is 5 June 2006. Alternative trading opportunities will be announced no later than in connection with the delisting. In addition, Old Mutual has previously announced that it will be initiating a compulsory acquisition process of the remaining shares.


[1] See page 4 for definition.
[2] New business sales is measured according to the industry-wide definition of single premiums divided by 10 plus annual premiums.

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