The Edinburgh-headquartered life company, with operations in Hong Kong and more recently launched businesses in Singapore and Dubai, said in its Q1 results statement that it will be some time before the long-term trends in the annuity market become clear.
“The negative profit of the changes will reflect the relatively small size of our annuity business”, it said.
In contrast, Standard Life said the business in Hong Kong was ranked third in the savings and investment market and is the “market leader in the broker and IFA segment”, as at 31 December 2013.
Total fee revenue was up 12% to £374m ($629m; €454m), reflecting a combination of continued strong net flows over recent periods and higher average market levels compared to the first quarter of last year, Standard Life said.
Group assets under administration were up 1.5% to £247.8bn compared to the previous quarter (£244.2bn at end of Q1 2013).
Chief executive David Nish said Standard Life Investments attracted significant third party inflows of which “80% were from outside the UK, demonstrating our broadening geographical reach”.
He added that the acquisition of Ignis Asset Management, which is awaiting regulatory approval, was “progressing well” and will further broaden its third party client base.
This expected acquisition will reduce the balance sheet surplus of £3.9bn (as at 31 December 2013) by £0.3bn.
Last year, Standard Life International blamed “disruption caused by the implementation of the Retail Distribution Review” for a drop in sales of its offshore bonds.