UK - Legal & General has reported an increase in operating profits of 6% to £626m, first half year figures reveal, with its buyout business a strong factor in its success.
It said growth in pension buyouts had increased 350% as sales trebled to £1.4bn.
Legal & General group chief executive Tim Breedon said he expected the overall pension buyout market, which totalled around £3bn to £4bn in 2007, to reach £10bn in 2008, but even this remains small compared with the total size of pension fund liabilities in the UK.
He said: "Annuities are continuing to see a surge in new business which began in the last quarter of 2007, with the demand for pension buyouts remaining high."
L&G Investment Management also had a good first half attracting inflows of £17.6bn, more than in the same half last year and taking total funds under management to £286bn at the end of June.
The firm also reported an increase in operating profit on an International Financial Reporting Standards basis of 1% from £386m in the first half of 2007 to £391m in the first six months of this year.
Meanwhile tough trading conditions in the equity markets meant that net profits were hit by losses on investments, down from £672m to £56m.
However Breedon expects the losses to be smoothed out over time.
He added: "We have probably seen the worst of the declines in asset values. A lot of bad news is currently priced into markets."
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