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Aug. 5, 2020, 2:30 a.m. EDT

Legal & General holds dividend as profit falls

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By Sabela Ojea

Legal & General Group PLC on Wednesday reported a fall in operating pretax profit for the first half of 2020 and said that it aims to have a similar performance in the second half.

The FTSE 100-listed insurance company posted an operating profit of 946 million pounds ($1.24 billion) compared with GBP1.00 billion for the same period a year earlier. The company said this proves resilience, as the effects of the coronavirus pandemic totaled GBP129 million.

Its solvency coverage ratio--a key measure of balance-sheet strength--stood at 173%, up from 171% in the year-earlier period.

The board declared an interim dividend of 4.93 pence a share, unchanged from the first half of 2019.

"In the first half, Legal & General delivered resilient operating profits, a robust balance sheet and highly relevant products and services," Chief Executive Nigel Wilson said.

Write to Sabela Ojea at sabela.ojea@wsj.com; @sabelaojeaguix

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