In its preliminary results, the life company said fee business assets under administration across its wholly owned international operations increased by 11% to £12.3bn ($19.4bn, €15bn), driven by record net inflows of £1.4bn. In addition, its new business sales increased by 18% to £2.3bn.
Total operating profit before tax for the company more than doubled last year to £40m.
In Ireland, where the company is headquartered, net inflows increased by 15% to £800m, despite “the effects of increased competition and the impact of austerity measures such as the pension levy”.
The pension levy, which was introduced in May last year, is a 0.6% tax charged on all capital value assets under management of funded pension schemes and personal pension plans established in Ireland. A temporary measure aimed at helping Ireland pay for other initiatives to stimulate growth, it is due to be in force until 2014 and is expected to raise €470m annually.
Standard Life said growth was also helped by enhancements made to its offshore bond proposition, with the launch of the International Bond which has exceeded £2bn in assets under administration.
Meanwhile, net inflows in Hong Kong increased by 80%, a reflection, said Standard Life, of the ongoing demand for its Harvest propositions. However, the company said the average revenue yield across its international business was slightly lower last year at 186 basis points, in 2010 it was 212bps.
The company’s joint ventures in India and China performed steadily last year, with a near-£30m increase in net flows to £275m. Specifically, its Indian joint venture, HDFC Life, has achieved profitability and Standard Life said it is now nearing self sufficiency, while profit from its wholly owned business in China was £38m.