Legal & General sees profits rise


Legal & General sees profits rise
The UK's third largest insurer, Legal & General, reported results at the top end of expectations this morning.

Releasing results for the first half of 2007 this morning, Legal & General confirmed operating profit was up six per cent to £626 million from £589 million in the first half of last year.

The growth was possible as annuity sales more than offset the impact of a weakening economy on protection and savings growth.

"Legal & General has delivered a strong set of results in market and economic conditions that have, as we expected, been challenging," explained group chief executive, Tim Breedon.

"We have continued to focus on exploiting the resilience of our business model to grow profitably."

Statutory operating profit also increased, up one per cent to £391m, compared with £386m in the same period last year.

The insurer remains heavily UK focused, securing some of its largest profits from this market.

L&G also confirmed new business profit grew eight per cent in the six months to £806 million on an annual premium equivalent (APE) basis.

"These results reflect the success of this approach and demonstrate our continued strengths: strong finances, multi-channel distribution, a diverse product range across complementary businesses, a strong brand and operational flexibility," continued Mr Breedon.

Group protection APE was also up 28 per cent over six months. This was despite an 11 per cent fall in individual protection, despite a fall in the mortgage market.

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