Legal & General Increased Profit 10% as Annuity Sales Rise

Legal & General Group Plc (LGEN), the biggest manager of U.K. pension assets, reported a 10 percent increase in first-half profit, boosted by acquisitions and sales of annuity products.

Operating profit climbed to 571 million pounds ($876 million) in the six months to June 30, compared with 518 million pounds a year earlier, the London-based company said today in a statement. That fell short of the 582 million-pound average forecast of 19 analysts provided by the company.

“Bulk annuities and related retirement solutions for corporates are up ten-fold,” Chief Executive Officer Nigel Wilson said in the statement. “We are successfully evolving our strategy from a post-financial crisis focus on cash, to one based on cash plus growth plus selective acquisitions.”

The firm raised its interim dividend 22 percent to 2.40 pence a share, beating analysts’ estimate of 2.28 pence. Net cash generation climbed 23 percent to 500 million pounds, while individual annuity sales jumped 44 percent to 754 million pounds.

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