11 March 2010 | Nick Martindale
Efficiency savings of £47 million helped Standard Life deliver better than expected profits in 2009.
The pensions and investments business reported operating profits of £919 million yesterday, representing a drop of 1.5 per cent on the previous year - but substantially above analysts’ expectations.
The Edinburgh-based firm pledged to save a further £100 million by 2012 through more efficient procurement practices and better use of technology. It also remains on course to hit a separate cost reduction target of £75 million this year.
“These savings, which will improve new business margins, will be achieved through transforming our operations to become lower-cost and scalable, while maintaining the quality of customer service,” said chief executive David Nish.
Savings during 2009 were achieved through a greater emphasis on cost control, outsourcing IT development work to Indian supplier L&T Infotech and restructuring its European and Canadian customer service operations.
Continued improvement and automation of customer service processes had also contributed, said Nish, allowing the business to further reduce headcount.