Utmost Group today (3 September) reported a higher operating profit of £65m than in H1 2020 (£17m) which it said was "a result of an increase in product fees reflecting stronger market conditions as well as a disciplined approach to expenses".

Over the period, Utmost wrote record new business of £1.3bn and saw assets under administration grow to £38.1bn (H1 2020: £35.3bn; FY 2020: £36.7m), "an increase of 4% from the start of the year reflecting strong new business volumes and favourable market performance".

Annual Premium Equivalent was £133m in H1 2021 (H1 2020: £88m; FY 2020: £180m) "driven by strong performance resulting from the continued global economic recovery, particularly in the UK and Europe".

In light of its announced acquisition of Quilter International in April 2021, Utmost said it was "finalising the regulatory approvals required to complete the acquisition".

"Planning is underway for the integration of the Quilter International business into Utmost International", it said, adding that it noted the strong recent performance of Quilter International in H1 2021, announced in Quilter plc's H1 2021 results.

Utmost further said it "looks forward to welcoming its customers and employees to the Group" and that the acquisition is expected to "close in Q4 2021".

The group's Solvency Coverage Ratio remained strong at 178% at 30 June 2021 (FY 2020: 183%) with surplus capital of £559m (FY 2020: £573m) following £53m cash remittances to UHGL.

As reported in International Investment, the Fitch Ratings of the group in July 2021 were also highlighted, with Utmost PanEurope dac, Utmost Limited and Utmost Worldwide Limited rated ‘A' (Strong) for Fitch's Insurer Financial Strength Rating.

The group holding company, Utmost Group plc, has an Issuer Default Rating of ‘BBB+'. "The outlooks remain stable", Fitch said.