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Legal & General ups dividend as H1 profit rises YOY

Legal & General Group Plc reported first-half profit attributable to equity holders of the company under International Financial Reporting Standards of £946 million, compared to £668 million a year ago.

The group noted that the result included a base mortality release of £126 million as part of its review of longevity assumptions.

EPS for the period amounted to 15.88 pence, up from 11.23 pence a year earlier.

Gross written premiums fell on a yearly basis to £3.72 billion from £5.49 billion and net premiums earned decreased to £2.84 billion from £4.78 billion.

Net claims and changes in insurance liabilities plunged to £2.96 billion from £9.92 billion a year ago. Changes in provisions for investment contract liabilities cost the company £13.62 billion in the first half, compared to the year-ago cost of £30.57 billion.

Return on equity for the first half was 26.7%, compared to 20.6% in the same period in 2016.

AUM at Legal & General Investment Management was £951.5 billion in the first half, up from £841.5 billion in the same period in 2016.

The group's Solvency II surplus at June-end was estimated at £6.7 billion, representing a coverage ratio of 186% on a shareholder basis, compared to a surplus of £5.7 billion and coverage ratio of 171% at the end of 2016.

The group's board declared an interim dividend of 4.30 pence per share for the first half, up from 4.00 pence a year ago.