Saga, a British specialist in products and services for the over 50s, posted an increase in its pre-tax profit in the first half of its fiscal year as a more efficient operating structure helped lower operating expenses across the business.

The company, which provides cruises, holidays and insurance products to quinquagenarians and those older, posted pre-tax profit of 109 million pounds ($143.2 million), up 3.2% from the corresponding period of the prior year.

The jump in pre-tax profit was supported by a 2.2 million pound positive movement in the fair value of derivative, the company said. A 3.7% drop in underlying profit, meanwhile, was seen to reflect planned investment in new business and improved retention in insurance as well as an increase in new business acquisition costs in a challenging insurance market.

“Our Retail Broking policy count is back to the levels seen in the first half of 2017, despite a more competitive pricing landscape. Underwriting results continue to be strong, with another excellent claims management performance,”Lance Batchelor, group chief executive, said.

“Travel has delivered a solid performance and we are seeing encouraging demand for our new ship, Spirit of Discovery, in line with our ambitious plan. Construction is on track, with keel laying this summer, ahead of her maiden cruise next year. The group is benefiting from lower operating expenses across the business, reflecting a more efficient operating structure and investment in our IT systems,” he added.