Legal & General sees sales jump 27%

Legal & General has increased worldwide sales by 27% in the first nine months of 2010 to £1,347m, up from £1,058m in the same period last year.

In the UK, its housing and protection business increased to £133m, up from £130m in 2009.

It says the weak housing market continues to depress demand although intermediaries within the protection market are replacing the loss of income from mortgage business with other protection sales.

This, coupled with its focus on non mortgage related sales, which now represent just over 50% of all new individual protection business, led to sales of £88m in the nine months to September, down 4% on the same period last year.

In general insurance, gross written premiums of £206m are flat on 2009 although new business is ahead of 2009 with new banking distribution deals signed in the period.

L&G increased its nine months net cash by 14% to £536m, up from £461m in the same period in 2009 and it is on track to exceed its £600m full year target.

Tim Breedon, group chief executive at L&G, says: “These results demonstrate that we are successfully delivering both improvements to cash generation and growth in sales. The group generated £526m of net cash in the first nine months and we are ahead of our plans to deliver £600m of net cash in 2010. Worldwide sales of £1.3bn in the first nine months of 2010 are nearly as much as in the whole of 2009.

“We are optimistic about the group’s medium term growth prospects. We see strong organic growth opportunities across our risk, savings and investment management franchises where we have built market leading positions. This, coupled with the opportunities to export our investment management and bancassurance models into new markets, puts the group in an excellent position for the future.”