Standard Life reports double-digit increase in Canadian profitability

    MONTREAL, March 12 /CNW Telbec/ - The Standard Life Assurance Company of
Canada, a wholly owned subsidiary of Standard Life plc, reported today that
net income(1) for the year ended December 31, 2007, rose 10% to C$204 million
compared to C$185 million for the same period in 2006. The increase in profit
despite lower sales is the direct result of a continuing sharpened focus on
operational efficiency and a decision to favour value over volume.
    "New business profitability, which is a key indicator of the success of
our new strategy, rose 38% to C$80 million(2) in 2007," said Joseph
Iannicelli, President and Chief Executive Officer of Standard Life in Canada.
"Across our entire range of products, we have diligently focused on
innovative, capital-efficient products, and improving operating efficiencies.
The superb performance of our team in providing high quality service along
with the development of our partnering programs with our retail distributors
has resulted in high customer retention levels and increasing levels of new
business profitability."
    In line with its commitment to product innovation and profitability,
Standard Life launched a number of products during 2007 in Canada, and
enhanced others, such as the award winning Plan for Life education and
communication program, which now offers enhanced retirement tools to enable
group pension plan participants to proactively manage retirement needs. The
Company also leveraged its recognized investment management expertise to
design new individual retirement products and expand its product lines in
order to target a broader range of clients and advisors.
    "By rebuilding our retail sales force and expanding our distribution
strategies over the past two years, we have forged the momentum we need for a
strong start to 2008 and well beyond," continued Mr. Iannicelli. "We intend to
significantly increase our visibility in the Canadian market, focusing our
efforts on high quality customer service and enhanced product offerings. Great
service, great products and a highly efficient operating style are the keys to
accelerating our growth and profitability in the Canadian market. The strategy
is working and our customers and shareholders are the beneficiaries."

    About Standard Life

    In 2008, Standard Life, the first life insurance company to transact
business in Canada, marks it's 175th year of operations. 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 seven million customers globally. It has offices in the United Kingdom,
Canada, Ireland, Germany, Austria, India and China, including Hong Kong.
    The Standard Life Assurance Company of Canada is Standard Life plc's
largest operation outside the U.K., with 1,900 employees based in Montréal 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.

    (1) Based on Canadian GAAP measures.

    (2) Based on EEV information.

    Standard Life's plc's financial statements have been prepared in
    accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). Non-
    GAAP measures are used and the most significant include European Embedded
    Value (EEV) information. All non-GAAP measures should be read in
    conjunction with the Standard Life plc's IFRS statutory income statement,
    balance sheet and cash flow statement that are presented in its IFRS
    financial information in the full-year results reported by Standard Life
    plc on March 12, 2008, and available at

For further information:

For further information: Ann-Marie Gagné, Standard Life, (514) 499-7999,
ext. 4600,; Note to editors: Mr. Christian
Martineau, Senior Vice-President, Finance and I.T., is available for

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