UK mutual Standard Life has published figures for the first nine months of 2005, showing strong overall trading but a drop-off in mortgage sales.

Third quarter life insurance revenue fell by 7% and mortgage lending fell by 28%, but sales of investment products jumped by more than fourfold.

The company reported APE sales of its self-invested pension plans (SIPP) of GBP88 million compared to GBP24 million last year, but a competitive UK mortgage market and slower house sales saw profits in this sector decline from GBP3.3 billion to GBP2.3 billion.

Group CEO Sandie Crombie said: 2005 is a pivotal year for Standard Life and the repositioning of our business continues. Although we expect many of our chosen markets such as group and individual pensions to remain competitive, the results for this third quarter demonstrate our continued progress in establishing a sound base from which to grow the business.

Standard Life is expected to join the stock market next year, with a value of at least GBP4 billion.