Standard Life hikes dividend as profits rise

Standard Life chief Keith Skeoch said tough market conditions 'may persist for some time'
Standard Life chief Keith Skeoch said tough market conditions 'may persist for some time'
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Pensions giant Standard Life has announced a 7.8 per cent rise in its full-year dividend after delivering higher earnings.

The Edinburgh-based group said pre-tax operating profits for 2015 grew 9 per cent to £665 million, driven by a 10 per cent jump in fee-based revenues to almost £1.6 billion.

Assets under administration were up 4 per cent to £307.4 billion despite “volatile” market conditions, helped by net inflows of £6.3bn – up from £1bn in 2014.

Standard Life said it added more than 250,000 new customers through auto-enrolment, contributing to a 9 per cent increase in regular contributions into workplace pension schemes to £2.9bn.

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Chief executive Keith Skeoch said: “During 2015 Standard Life has made considerable progress towards creating a world-class investment company against a backdrop of volatile investment markets and an evolving regulatory landscape.

“While the difficult conditions in global financial markets may persist for some time, Standard Life remains well positioned to meet the needs of clients and customers around the world.”

The group proposed a final dividend of 12.34p a share, giving a total for the year of 18.36p – an increase of 7.8 per cent over the payout for 2014.