First quarter 2009 results - Standard Life maintains its sound financial position in Canada despite difficult market conditions



    MONTREAL, April 30 /CNW Telbec/ - Standard Life Financial Inc. of Canada
today reported that in the first quarter of 2009, net inflows from clients
grew 274% to $101 million compared to $27 million for the same period in 2008.
This strong result is underlined by stable sales revenue as well as continued
good client retention. The Company also maintained its sound financial
position with the solvency ratio of The Standard Life Assurance Company of
Canada improving to 203% from 198% at the end of 2008, without any need to
access additional capital. Standard Life Financial Inc. is part of Standard
Life plc, which published its 2009 first quarter new business results earlier
today (LSE: SL.L). (Note: All figures are based on Canadian GAAP measures and
are shown in Canadian dollars unless otherwise noted.)
    "In Canada, Standard Life continued to show resilience in the first part
of 2009," said Joseph Iannicelli, President and Chief Executive Officer.
"Considering the current challenging economic environment, we are pleased with
our performance for three key reasons. We have been able to retain assets
under our administration due to positive net inflows and sustained client
retention. Our solvency ratio has improved, thanks in part to our underwriting
criteria and investment policies. We continued to grow our group business and
built on our success from last year when we increased our market share in that
segment."
    In the first quarter of 2009, overall premiums and deposits in
retirement, investment and insurance products were in line with the
corresponding period last year, as the increase in sales of group products was
offset by a decrease in retail sales due to the weak retail market. Group
savings and retirement premiums and deposits increased by 4% to $639 million
in 2009 compared to $615 million a year ago. Group insurance premiums were up
4% to $154 million in Q1 2009 compared to $149 million in the same period in
2008. Retail premiums and deposits decreased by 18% to $329 million compared
to $403 million last year. However, within this, retail guaranteed term funds
experienced an 82% increase in sales, reflecting a competitive offering and
the heightened interest by individual investors for more conservative products
in today's context.
    Client retention remained high at 94.2% in Q1 2009 compared to 94.7% in
the same period last year.

    About Standard Life

    With 10,000 employees globally, Standard Life plc is a major
international financial services group headquartered in Scotland. It provides
asset-managing services for retirement, investment and protection to some 6.5
million customers globally. It had C$278.3 billion in assets under
administration, as at December 31, 2008. It has offices in the United Kingdom,
Canada, Ireland, Germany, Austria, India, China and Hong Kong.
    Standard Life Financial Inc., of which the main operating unit is The
Standard Life Assurance Company of Canada, is Standard Life plc's largest
operation outside the U.K., with 2,000 employees based in Montreal and across
Canada, serving more than 1.3 million Canadians, including group insurance and
pension plan participants.
    Standard Life plc has approximately 1.5 million shareholders worldwide,
including approximately 14,000 institutional and individual shareholders in
Canada. It has been trading on the London Stock Exchange since The Standard
Life Assurance Company demutualized in 2006. Standard Life plc is listed on
the FTSE 100, Europe's largest index, and on the FTSE4Good Index, which
identifies companies adhering to globally recognized corporate responsibility
standards.

    Forward-looking statements

    This press release may contain forward-looking statements about certain
of Standard Life's current plans, goals and expectations relating to future
financial conditions, performance, results, strategy and objectives.
Statements containing the words: 'believes', 'intends', 'expects', 'plans',
'seeks' and 'anticipates' and any other words of similar meaning are
forward-looking. All forward-looking statements involve risk and uncertainty
because they relate to future events and circumstances beyond Standard Life's
control. As a result, Standard Life's actual financial condition, performance
and results may differ materially from the plans, goals and expectations set
out in the forward-looking statements. The Company will not undertake any
obligation to update any of the forward-looking statements in this press
release or any other forward-looking statements that it may make.

    Note to editors:

    You can access Standard Life plc 2009 first quarter revenue results from
    the Latest News section at www.standardlife.ca




For further information:

For further information: Ann-Marie Gagné, Manager, external
communications and public affairs, (514) 499-7999, ext. 4600,
ann-marie.gagne@standardlife.ca

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Standard Life

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