Old Mutual Sales Rise on Emerging Markets; Assets Shrink

Nov. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Old Mutual Plc, the third-biggest insurer in the U.K., said third-quarter revenue rose 8 percent, helped by growth in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Life assurance sales grew to 358 million pounds ($569 million) from 331 million pounds a year earlier, the London-based company said today. That beat the 340 million-pound estimate of 13 analysts surveyed by the company. Funds under management declined 5 percent to 116.1 billion pounds.

Sales were “driven primarily” by emerging markets, Chief Executive Officer Julian Roberts said in a statement. Old Mutual, founded in Cape Town in 1845, said it plans to repay 1 billion pounds of debt by the end of next year after having paid down the equivalent of 473 million pounds in July and a further 31 million pounds in September.

“The good news is that new business volumes generally surprised on the upside,” Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts including Blair Stewart wrote in a research note today. “The bad news is that the U.S. asset management business continues to see significant outflows.”

Old Mutual fell 0.6 percent to 109.1 pence at 11:22 a.m. in London trading. The insurer’s shares are down 12 percent this year, outpacing the 6 percent drop by the eight-member FTSE 350 Life Insurance Index.

To contact the reporter on this story: Renee Bonorchis in Johannesburg at rbonorchis@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net Edward Evans at eevans3@bloomberg.net