Cap­i­tal ra­tio in­crease gives Just Group chance to ‘drive the busi­ness for­ward’

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Business -

◆ 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.

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