August 7, 2019 / 6:38 AM / 3 months ago

Corporate pension deals help lift L&G first-half operating profit by 11%

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Legal & General insurance company is seen at their office in central London, Britain, March 17, 2008. REUTERS/Alessia Pierdomenico

LONDON (Reuters) - British insurer Legal & General (LGEN.L) on Wednesday posted an 11% rise in first-half operating profit driven by an increase in corporate pension deals and inflows to its asset management unit.

Britain’s third-largest insurer said operating profit rose to 1 billion pounds from 909 million pounds a year earlier, boosted by a 36% increase in profits at its Retirement unit to 655 million pounds.

L&G, one of the biggest investors in the UK stock market, said its fund arm’s assets under management rose 15% during the period to 1.14 trillion pounds, up from 985 billion pounds a year earlier.

L&G has increasingly looked to shed non-core operations and in May said it would sell its small general insurance business to Germany’s Allianz (ALVG.DE).

Chief Executive Nigel Wilson said L&G’s five businesses had collectively delivered strong results: “The sale of Mature Savings and General Insurance enables us to focus on businesses where we have leading market share and adjacent businesses where we see outstanding growth potential.”

The company said its Solvency II coverage ratio was at 171%, down from 188% last year, impacted by discounting balance sheet at lower interest rates.

Reporting by Lena Masri; editing by Sinead Cruise

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