- Just Group reported Thursday total new business sales rose 41% in the first quarter of the year compared to the same period a year ago as retirement income jumped 43%.

For the first three months to the end of March, the firm said total new business sales rose 41% to £617m supported by a 43% rise in retirement income sales driven by strong performance in its Defined Benefit De-risking segment.

Defined Benefit De-risking sales rose 99% to £249m amid a marked increase in opportunities during the year as employee benefit consultants proactively managed the industry pipeline and as the market became less seasonal, the firm said.

Guaranteed Income for Life sales were up 8% to £188m in first quarter, while Lifetime Mortgage advances rose 42% to £151m, in line with the growth in Retirement Income, the firm said.

'We have taken full advantage of buoyant market conditions to make a strong start to the year, especially in DB,' said Rodney Cook, Group Chief Executive.

'We have maintained our financial discipline and are in a position to price even more selectively over the balance of the year. The pipeline remains strong across our main products, particularly in DB De-risking, and we look forward to the remainder of the year.'

At 9:15am: [LON:JUST] Just Group Plc share price was +16.7p at 157.1p

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