24 Jan, 2008
Published: 11:36 Thursday 24 January
By: Edward Lander, New Model Adviser News Reporter
at St James's Place jumped more than 15% after the firm published a
23% increase in annual growth figures this morning, taking it to
the top of the FTSE 250 leaders board.
As of 11.38am the share price was up 38.75p to 282.75p, a rise of
over 15% on the day.
The life insurer with a direct sales force has seen a slow down in
new business growth in the fourth quarter to 10% on the previous
year following 'challenging' market conditions.
New business figures in the first three quarters of 2007 were up
29% but overall sales for the year only up 23% following a slowdown
in the fourth quarter. Fourth quarter new business was 113.2
million from 103.1 million in the previous year.
Chairman Mike Wilson said that the company expected a slowdown in
growth, adding that it could not maintain the 58% growth in new
business recorded in 2006.
Overall investment sales increased by 16% in the fourth quarter and
there was a 14% increase in bond sales.
'Basically we're dealing with more sophisticated investors and they
don't panic as much as unsophisticated investors,' said Wilson.
The group has maintained a long term growth target of 15% to 20%
per year and hopes to increase its sales force by at least 5% in
'We're really trying to show confidence despite market turbulence,'
said Wilson. 'I think that people will look back in 2008 and say it
was probably a good time to invest.'