Standard Life share price rises as SLI bolsters 2014 results

on Feb 20, 2015
Updated: Oct 21, 2019

Standard Life Plc (LON:SL)has seen a significant increase in full-year operating profit that after another strong performance by its asset management unit, Standard Life Investments (SLI). The company today reported that operating profit from continuing operations had risen 19 percent to £604 million in 2014. Analysts polled by the company had been expecting operating profit of £559 million.

The company’s fee-based revenue came in at £1.4 billion, up 14 percent on the previous year. Assets under administration from continuing operations jumped 38 percent to £296.6 billion, beating the average analyst forecast of £294 billion.
SLI’s assets under management surged 45 percent year-on-year to £245.9 billion, with the increase largely due to the acquisition of Ignis Asset Management Ltd for £390 million. Standard Life’s chief executive officer David Nish highlighted the performance of the unit, noting that it “has continued to perform strongly and expand internationally”.

Regarding Standard Life’s overall performance, Nish said: “Standard Life has continued to perform well driven by a focus on delivering value for money for our customers and clients.”
The CEO also touched upon the reforms to the UK pension system, saying that the company was “well positioned” to deal with the changes. The company acknowledged that it had seen a significant reduction in demand for individual annuities as a result of the changes and added that it expected “the contribution from annuity new business to reduce by between £10m-£15m and the contribution from asset liability management to reduce by between £30m-£40m” in 2015.

Standard Life also pointed to unsettled investment markets, which “may affect the near-term pace of asset and revenue growth”. However, it insisted that it was very well placed for the future.
In today’s trading, Standard Life shares were up three percent at 420.73p, as of 08:31 UTC. The company’s stock has risen 5.2 percent since the start of the year
According to the Financial Times, the 18 analysts offering 12 month price targets for Standard Life have a median target of 422.50p, with a high estimate of 465.00p and a low estimate of 320.00p. As of February 14, 2015, the consensus forecast amongst 30 polled investment analysts covering Standard Life has it that investors should hold their position in the company. This stance has been maintained since December 9, 2014, when the sentiment of investment analysts deteriorated from “hold”.
As of 10:52 GMT, Friday, 20 February, Standard Life Plc share price is 422.10p.

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