Profits were flat at £2.7mln in 2016, the expat-focused life and pension group said, but that reflected a surge in new business for its QROPS international pensions product.
STM made a decision in October to drop establishment fees for longer to build the recurring revenue base.
Following this change, some 50% more policies were written in the second half of the year compared to the first half and 27% more than 2015’s second half.
The integration of October acquisition London & Colonial was also running smoothly.
Alan Kentish, chief executive, said: London & Colonial and the pricing initiative in international pensions businesses had both proved beneficial.
"We head in to 2017 knowing that recurring revenue streams from our highly profitable pensions and life businesses have never been higher, giving us cause for optimism for the year ahead."
Shares rose 25% to 47.4p.