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Partnership Assurance Falls Most Since IPO on Growth Target

Aug. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Partnership Assurance Group Plc fell the most since its initial public offering in June after the U.K. annuity provider, owned by Cinven Partners LLP, said its main market probably won’t meet its 2013 growth target.

Partnership dropped 7.1 percent to 429 pence at the close in London, the biggest decline since it started trading on June 10. The shares were sold at 385 pence apiece. The market for non-standard annuities won’t reach its 16 percent growth target because of the effect of gender-neutral legislation and the Retail Distribution Review, the Surrey, England-based company said in a statement today.

“We have seen fairly significant disruption to the NSA market with a 9 percent fall in growth for the first half,” Chief Executive Officer Steve Groves said in a telephone interview. “The market disruption is temporary. The evidence that we are seeing in the lead indicators, particular quote activity, is that it’s coming back.”

Partnership today reported a 16 percent increase in new business premiums for annuities, products that provide a guaranteed income for pensioners, in the first-half to 601 million pounds ($932 million) and said it remains on target to meet its full-year operating profit expectations. Operating profit rose 31 percent to 59.3 million pounds in the first half from a year earlier, the company said.

Groves said the company signed a distribution deal to sell its products with Virgin Money and expects to announce a similar deal with another company in the third quarter.

The Retail Distribution Review bans financial advisers from taking commissions from fund managers and came into effect this year.

Private-equity firm Cinven owns 52 percent of Partnership’s shares, the company said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sarah Jones in London at sjones35@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Edward Evans at eevans3@bloomberg.net

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