The recently-listed insurance and protection provider Standard Life has reported a 17% rise in first half sales.

The Edinburgh-based life and pensions player became the UK’s fifth largest listed insurer when it floated in July in an IPO that valued it at around GBP4.7 billion.

The company said that its H1 UK life and pensions sales grew by 25% to GBP594 million, while global sales hit GBP745 million. In particular the company cited its self-invested personal pensions product – or SIPP – as a major success, bringing in GBP105 million in the first six months of the year. Standard Life has also enjoyed a boost on the back of the UK government’s ‘A-Day’ reforms to the pensions system, which occurred in April 2006.

We have built on good growth in the first quarter, with an accelerated rate of increase in the second quarter, giving us a solid foundation for the remainder of the year. It is particularly pleasing to see strong performance in our target markets in the UK, notably SIPP and investment bonds.

Our transition to higher margin and higher value-added savings products continues, and I am confident that we are securing the right mix of new business to deliver profitable growth for our shareholders, commented CEO Sandie Crombie.