LONDON, May 18 (Reuters) - Specialist annuity provider JRP posted a 13 percent rise in first-quarter new business sales on Thursday, lifted by strong sales of group annuities to companies, it said in a statement.
Total new business sales rose to 436 million pounds ($564.18 million). The sales of bulk annuities, which involve the insurer taking on the risk of a company defined benefit, or final salary, pension scheme, leapt 191 percent to 125 million pounds.
JRP, formed through the combination of two rival firms last year, specialises in annuities - the payment of a fixed income for life - for pensioners with medical conditions which cut their life expectancy.
Sales of annuities to individuals have suffered following UK pension changes in the past few years, however, JRP's individual annuity sales also rose during the quarter, by 7 percent to 174 million pounds.
Lifetime mortgage sales fell 29 percent to 107 million pounds. The mortgages pay a fixed income against the value of a property, which is typically handed over as payment on the customer's death.
"We have enjoyed a solid start to the year and we remain on track to meet our expectations," Chief Executive Rodney Cook said.
$1 = 0.7728 pounds Reporting by Carolyn Cohn; editing by Simon Jessop