LV= announces 2022 financial results

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LV= announces 2022 financial results

30/03/2023
FINANCIAL AND CORPORATE

Continued positive momentum despite challenging economic conditions

Protection, investment and retirement specialist LV= announces its financial results for the year to 31 December 2022 and publishes its Annual Report.

Operational highlights:

  • Year-on-year sales of annuities (+91%), equity release (+19%), and protection products (+8%) increased and exceeded sales targets
  • Continued progress on stabilising operational costs with expenses remaining largely flat despite a backdrop of high inflation
  • Strengthened senior leadership with appointment of David Hynam as LV= Chief Executive and Simon Moore as LV= Board Chair
  • Two funds - Extra Cautious and Impact Growth - added to the LV= Smoothed Managed Fund range broadening appeal to a wider range of investors 
  • Launched further affordable critical illness cover - LV= Life and Critical Illness Cover
  • Mortgage Advice Bureau added the full LV= Flexible Protection Plan range of products and options to its protection panel
  • A one-off payment of £750 made to help LV= colleagues with the cost of living crisis

Financial highlights:

  • Present value of new business premiums (PVNBP) £1.5 billion (FY 2021: £1.6 billion)
  • Operating profit remains stable year-on-year at £31 million (FY 2021: £31 million)
  • Trading Profit £28 million (2021: £29 million)
  • £35 million of bonuses shared with eligible members
  • Solvency II operating capital generation £91 million (i) (FY 2021: £110 million)
  • Group Solvency II Capital Coverage Ratio 174% (ii) (FY 2021: 187%)


“There’s no doubt that the current economic challenges and uncertainty are affecting businesses around the UK. High inflation, rising interest rates and low growth are posing challenges for businesses and consumers alike. We are not immune to this and we know that our members will be no less affected, not least by the rising cost of living. Despite these challenges, and as a result of our focused business strategy, the outlook for LV= remains positive.

“Despite difficult market conditions, we have traded well with our protection, equity release and annuities products all exceeding their 2021 sales levels.

“Since joining LV=, I’ve been focused on driving forward the next steps in our business strategy.

“My goal is to forge a collaborative, inclusive business environment where we do all we can to achieve the best outcomes and returns for our mutual members.

“We are already delivering on our members-first philosophy, having shared member bonuses of £35 million.

“Our products also reflect LV’s values-driven approach, with our protection policies – critical illness, income protection and life insurance – helping individuals and families across the nation guard against serious accidents or illnesses that prevent them from working.

“We have expanded our range of protection products including launching a more affordable critical illness product providing more choice and flexibility for customers at different life stages.

“Our pensions and equity release products are helping members secure the retirement they want, and our Smoothed Managed Fund range remains popular with financial advisers and their clients who are looking for a range of lower-volatility investments. Sales of the Smoothed Managed Fund range have been affected by difficult economic conditions but net fund flows are broadly neutral. 

“We added two funds last year. The new funds - Extra Cautious and Impact Growth - broaden the LV= Smoothed Managed Fund range to appeal to a wider range of investors. The Smoothed Managed Fund range will continue to be a core product and play an important role in helping to secure opportunities that extend LV’s distribution reach.

“The business continues to have strong foundations, and despite increasing inflationary pressures, we have maintained tight and largely flat operating costs.

“LV= members can be confident that we are doing our utmost to deliver the value for money they rightly expect in tough economic times.”

David HynamLV= Chief Executive
New business sales on a Present Value of New Business Premiums (PVNBP) basis decreased by 8% to £1,454m (2021: £1,589m). Sales of annuities, equity release and protection products increased but sales of Smoothed Managed Funds (SMF) and other pensions products have fallen due to difficult economic conditions. However, net fund flows into the SMF range of funds remain broadly neutral. The business has been impacted by the reduction in SMF and pension new business sales, although this has been mainly offset by increased sales across our other products, leading to trading profit decreasing slightly to £28m (2021: £29m). Trading profit generated by new business fell to £14m (2021: £17m), while the trading profit generated from in-force business increased to £14m (2021: £12m). Operating profit is stable year-on-year at £31m (2021: £31m), with the impact of reduced trading profit largely offset by beneficial model and basis changes and other items. 


2022 saw a continuation of the strong cost disciplines embedded within the business with targeted operating expenses remaining flat at £105m (2021: £105m), despite a backdrop of high inflation. This allowed the business to make a one-off payment of £750 in order to help LV= colleagues with the cost of living crisis.

Non-operational items, such as strategic investment and business restructuring costs have reduced to £80m (2021: £90m) and the overall year-on-year result before economic impacts has therefore improved. Control of non-operational spending was stated as a key area of focus in last year’s Annual Report and provides another example of management’s commitment to embedding strong cost disciplines within the business. 

As a mutual, we do not consider the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) results to be a key metric for our members, we therefore manage the business primarily on a Solvency II basis. Despite the economic and market turmoil, our Solvency II capital position remains strong, with a capital surplus of £391m (iii) (2021: £637m) and a Capital Coverage Ratio of 174% (2021: 187%), well within our risk appetite range of 140% - 200%. Operating capital generation of £91m (2021: £110m) includes £89m (2021: £87m) from our trading businesses. 

The £246m decrease in capital surplus during the year is mainly driven by economic fluctuations. As well as impacting the value of the pension scheme and fund used to pay discretionary bonuses to eligible with-profits members, these have also restricted the capital benefits associated with our subordinated debt and deferred tax assets. This leaves our solvency position less reliant on lower-quality regulatory capital. IFRS results have also been impacted by external economic fluctuations, leading to a loss before tax and member bonuses of £265m (2021: £66m). 

Despite the market volatility and economic turbulence, our Savings and Retirement business has proved resilient. New business sales totalled £1,097m (2021: £1,257m) on a PVNBP basis. Profitability of new business has been impacted by the reduction in SMF and pension new business sales with the trading profit generated by Savings and Retirement new business decreasing to £nil compared to a new business trading profit of £12m in 2021.

We continue to develop our Smoothed Managed Funds franchise, which offers clients protection from market volatility while facilitating access to potential growth upside. Throughout the year we made a number of enhancements including adding two funds to the SMF range and overall inflows totalled £280m.

Our Protection business has continued to grow with new business sales increasing by 8% to £357m (2021: £332m) on a PVNBP basis, outperforming the market and growing our market share in the segments we have chosen to compete in. As a result our new business trading profit increased to £14m (2021: £5m).