CGNU surprised analysts on Wednesday when it reported a 21 percent increase in its U.K. life sales totaling £5.5 billion ($8 billion) over the past 9 months, despite a general slowdown in long-term investments in the U.K. Worldwide results rose 14 percent to £9 billion ($13 billion) for the period.
The good results were seen by most analysts as coming from the ability of CGNU management to successfully integrate Norwich Union’s life operations with those of CGU following their merger earlier this year. The Norwich Union brand now covers all the company’s life activities, and offers a broader range of products than competitors.
Another encouraging sign was the 27 percent increase in new business from independent financial analysts, which supply about 75 percent of Norwich’s life and pension business.
CGNU, which recently sold its U.S. p/c business, is still looking for acquisitions in the financial services sector, where it hopes to expand its global market share. It is rumored to be one of the top bidders for U.K. mutual insurer Equitable Life, but has also expressed a desire to expand in the U.S. market.
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