(Adds CEO, analyst comment; detail; updates shares)
Feb 28 Just Retirement Group reported an
11 percent rise in half-yearly underlying operating profit as
higher demand for lifetime mortgages boosted the pension
provider's maiden results since its 1.1 billion pound initial
public offering in November.
Just Retirement, whose annuities, mortgages and advice on
pensions mainly go to retirees with health issues such as
obesity, said it was confident of its long-term growth as its
target customer group continued to grow.
"In the UK demographic, more and more people are going to
retire and get older," Chief Executive Rodney Cook said, adding
that he expected the pension market to grow over the next two to
Just Retirement's shares rose as much as 4 percent on the
London Stock Exchange on Friday morning. They have gained about
13 percent since listing in November during a flurry of IPOs in
"Crucially for us, the management state that it is on track
to meet its full year expectations," Espirito Santo analyst Phil
Dobbin said, reiterating his "buy" rating on the stock. "We view
this as a highly credible result in a difficult market."
The company, which is backed by private equity group Permira
, reported an operating pretax profit of 40.7 million
pounds ($67.85 million) in the six months ended Dec. 31.
Sales of lifetime mortgage advances rose nearly 50 percent
to 218.3 million pounds during the period. Lifetime mortgages
pay pensioners a fixed income against the value of their
property, which is typically handed over as payment upon the
Just Retirement's shares were up 2 percent at 245 pence at
1150 GMT on the London Stock Exchange on Friday, after touching
a high of 249.50 pence earlier.
($1 = 0.60 British pounds)
(Reporting by Richa Naidu in Bangalore; Editing by Supriya
Kurane and Joyjeet Das)