Legal & General Group Plc (LON:LGEN) reported underlying operating profits of $1.3bn in the first half, up 13% year-on-year. That reflects strong results in the retail annuities, real asset and Insurance businesses – with many of the group’s divisions benefitting from a weaker comparison when the pandemic hit results last year.
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The group announced an interim dividend of 5.18p per share, up 5% year-on-year.
Legal & General shares rose 2.2% in early trading.
Legal & General Is Back in The Game
Nicholas Hyett, Equity Analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown:
“With the disruption caused by the pandemic fading into the rear-view mirror, Legal & General is back to making the most of what we think is the most formidable operating model in the UK life insurance sector.
The group’s market share in individual UK annuities is approaching 25% while institutional bulk annuity sales are also ticking over nicely. That provides the assets to fuel growth in Legal & General Capital – L&G’s real assets business which invests in everything from housebuilding to science parks. Legal & General Investment Management is also a beneficiary, particularly in it’s solutions business. LGIM is a giant in it’s own right, having become the UK first trillion pound asset manager a few years ago the division now manages over £1.3trn – gathering assets from overseas for its ETF and other passive strategies while also delivering very strong investment returns.
Strong operating results and excellent distribution have underpinned a large and growing dividend in recent years, with the stock currently offering a yield of over 7%. That’s higher than you might expect, and we think reflects some nervousness about debt levels in particular. However, the group has so far managed the balance sheet well and CEO Nigel Wilson’s decision to stick to his guns and pay a dividend last year looks like a smart one.”
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