Standard Life reports higher third quarter sales in Canada

    
    Note: All figures are based on Canadian GAAP measures and are shown in
    Canadian dollars. All comparisons are with Q3 2008, unless otherwise
    stated.
    

MONTREAL, Oct. 29 /CNW Telbec/ - Standard Life Financial Inc. today reported that premiums and deposits increased by 34% to $1,239 million (2008: $926 million) in the third quarter of 2009. The increase is due to stronger sales in individual retirement and savings product lines, amid early signs of a recovery in the previously challenging Canadian retail market.

"For the second quarter in a row, we have delivered solid growth in our retail business. We're starting to see the benefits of the repositioning we undertook a few years ago," said Joseph Iannicelli, President. "I am pleased that the Canadian business continues to contribute positively to the growth and strength of the Standard Life group."

Individual retirement, savings and insurance premiums and deposits have improved by 115% to $386 million (2008: $180 million). Term funds sales increased six fold due to strong market demand, and segregated funds sales were up 29% as a result of a more favourable competitive environment. However, the market for mutual funds remains challenging, and sales declined by 3% to $94 million (2008: $97 million).

Premiums in the group business have increased by 17% in the third quarter. The Company's core defined contribution segment within its group savings and retirement business grew by 37% to $530 million (2008: $386 million). Group insurance premiums have also risen by 2% to $154 million (2008: $152 million).

The Standard Life Assurance Company of Canada reported a solvency ratio of 206%, without any need to access additional capital, and maintained a client retention rate of 94%.

"Considerable amounts of liquidity remain in the market as investors are still cautious about investment prospects in the near term. We are poised to take advantage of the opportunities that will arise when individual investors return to the market," added Iannicelli. "We also remain well positioned to continue leveraging our strengths in our core chosen segments of defined contribution pension and disability management."

About Standard Life

Standard Life is a major asset managing group originating from Scotland and operating across the globe. Established in 1825, Standard Life provides retirement, investment and insurance products to over 6.5 million customers worldwide. The group has around 10,000 employees across the U.K., Canada, Ireland, Germany, Austria, India, Hong Kong and mainland China. It had $278.9 billion in assets under administration, as at June 30, 2009.

In 2006, after 80 years as a mutual company, The Standard Life Assurance Company demutualized and Standard Life plc was listed on the London Stock Exchange. Standard Life now has approximately 1.5 million individual shareholders in over 50 countries.

In Canada, Standard Life has been doing business for more than 175 years. Standard Life Financial Inc., which wholly owns The Standard Life Assurance Company of Canada, is Standard Life plc's largest operation outside the U.K. With 2,000 employees based in Montréal and across Canada, it serves more than 1.3 million Canadians, including group insurance and pension plan participants. It had $33.7 billion of assets under administration, as at June 30, 2009.

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 (LSE: SL.L) 2009 Q3 Interim Management Statement published earlier today from the Latest News section of our website, at www.standardlife.ca

SOURCE Standard Life

For further information: For further information: Ann-Marie Gagné, Manager, External Communications and Public Affairs, Standard Life, 1-877-499-9555, ext. 4600, (514) 499-7999, ext. 4600, ann-marie.gagne@standardlife.ca

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