Standard Life Financial Inc. has reported a net income of $158 million for the first half of 2014, compared to $48 million for the same period last year.

Premiums and deposits increased by 18% at $1.5 billion for the second quarter of 2014. The increase is driven by strong sales in the fee-based business, says the company. Assets under administration also gained 7% to $52 billion at the end of the second quarter.

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“Our strategy to leverage Standard Life Investments’ leading global investment capabilities to meet customer needs has shown great success resulting in a growth of our retail wealth solutions revenue and an increase in the number of advisors recommending our products,” says Charles Guay, president of Standard Life.

Mutual fund sales are also showing a marked improvement. They increased by 29% to $107 million in the second quarter, partly due to the success of global funds introduced in the last few years such as the Global Absolute Return Strategies Fund. Standard Life Mutual Funds continues its strategy to increase its global funds offering by introducing two new emerging market funds to Canadian investors in the second quarter.

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Group savings and retirement premiums and deposits rose by 12% to $752 million. Core defined contribution business was up by 14% to $664 million. To support the launch of Voluntary Retirement Savings Plan in Quebec, strategic alliances were signed with leading payroll service providers to help business owners implement and administer this program and any similar programs that will be introduced in other provinces.

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Group insurance and disability management premiums and deposits gained 3% to $183 million (2013: $176 million), benefiting from Standard Life’s improvement of its drug management services for plan sponsors and increased online services capabilities for customers.

Standard Life Financial Inc’s primary operating subsidiary, The Standard Life Assurance Company of Canada, reported a strong solvency ratio of 232% at the end of June (Dec. 2013: 261%) following the payment of a $345 million dividend to Standard Life plc.

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