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March 6, 2019, 2:51 a.m. EST

Legal & General profit rises in 2018

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By Adam Clark

Legal & General Group PLC (LGEN.LN) said Wednesday that its operating profit rose in 2018 on insurance and investment-management growth, as assets under management exceeded the trillion-pound mark.

The FTSE 100 company made an operating profit of 1.90 billion pounds ($2.50 billion), up 10% from 2017. Net profit fell slightly to GBP1.83 billion, affected by a prior-year tax benefit.

Legal & General said it had record annuity sales of GBP10 billion in its pensions business, while in insurance, gross written premiums rose 3% to GBP2.62 billion.

Legal & General Investment Management increased assets under management 3% to GBP1.02 trillion, including external net inflows of GBP42.6 billion.

Its solvency capital ratio--a key measure of balance-sheet strength--remained broadly flat at 188%. Legal & General declared a final dividend of 11.82 pence. This brings its full-year dividend to 16.42 pence, up 7% from the prior year.

Legal & General said it is confident of further growth this year. The company said it had 10% annual growth in earnings per share between 2011 and 2015, and is on track to deliver a similar performance to 2020.

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