Capital ratio increase gives Just Group chance to ‘drive the business forward’
◆ Retirement specialist Just Group said it would increase its hedge against a fall in property prices as it battles to repair its balance sheet, writes Michael O’Dwyer.
The FTSE 250 firm managed to increase its capital ratio, a key measure of financial resilience, from 141pc to 145pc in the first half of the year, well ahead of City expectations.
A collapse in house prices would leave the company exposed because it offers lifetime mortgages – loans that allow customers to release value from their homes and push the risk on to providers such as Just Group.
David Richardson, chief executive, said: “We’ve got enough levers that we can pull to offset a very wide range of property outcomes and keep our capital ratio at a sufficient level to drive the business forward.”
Pre-tax profit rose to £305m from £125m a year ago despite a fall in sales as investment returns and falling interest rates boosted its numbers.
Shares closed at 55p, up 8pc.