Just Group plc (JUST) is a provider of retirement income, annuities and mortgage solutions. Its product portfolio includes individually underwritten retirement income products, fixed-term annuities, care annuities, life and flexible pension plans, long-term care plans, protection plans and lifetime mortgages. The company also offers regulated financial advice and guidance services for individuals. It serves corporate clients by offering business services such as consultancy and software development, outsourced customer service delivery and marketing services. These products and services are offered under various brands, including justretirement, just rethink retirement, partnership, justretirement South Africa, HUB Financial Solutions, HUB Pension Solutions and Corinthian.
In Q1 FY2019, the company’s retirement income sales decreased by 59 per cent to £184 million as compared to £454 million in Q1 FY2018, due to the decline in the DB (Defined Benefit De-risking) sales and GIFL (Guaranteed Income for Life) pricing stance. DB sales division declined by 90 per cent to £26 million in Q1 FY19 against the £249 million in Q1 FY18, driven by the reduction in the activity levels in the target segment. GIFL sales stood at £145 million, a decrease of 23 per cent as compared with the previous year of the same quarter. GIFL sales were declined because of the higher implementation in the Prudential Regulation Authority's publication of CP13/18. Lifetime mortgage loans advances (LTM) decreased by 47 per cent to £79 million as compared with the Q1 FY2018 data of £151 million. The company’s total new business sales were down by 55 per cent to £276 million in Q1 FY19 from £617 million in Q1 FY18.
The group is looking for both a new permanent chief executive officer (CEO) and chief financial officer (CFO). The company has been hit by new UK capital rules for equity release mortgages, which form a large portion of its balance sheet. The company is planning to close its US operations because it wants to strengthen its balance sheet.
On 16th May 2019, the insurer said it is taking a “disciplined approach” for capital raising in the new regulatory regime, and a “renewed focus on cost control” including the closure of loss-making operations such as its business in the United States.
In March 2019, the company has cancelled its dividend and announced a capital raising plan to strengthen its balance sheet.
Share Price Performance
Daily Chart as at May-16-19, before the market closed (Source: Thomson Reuters)
On 16th May 2019, at the time of writing (before the market closed, GMT 3:55 pm), JUST shares were trading at GBX 59.35, down by 8.55 per cent against its previous day closing price. Stock’s 52 weeks High and Low is GBX 158.50/GBX 57.45. The company’s stock beta was 1.09, reflecting slightly higher volatility as compared to the benchmark index. Total outstanding market capitalization was around £674.70 million.
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