L&G hikes dividend as first-half profits rise

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Insurance group Legal & General today reported higher profits for the first six months of the year and said shareholders are in line for a 21 per cent hike in their dividend.

The group, which last year bought a stake in Edinburgh-based housebuilder Cala, posted an operating profit of £636 million, up from £571m a year earlier.

Assets under management at Legal & General Investment Management rose 7 per cent to £465.1 billion.

Chief executive Nigel Wilson said: “Strong business performance across a well-diversified range of insurance, savings and investment markets underpins consistent earnings quality and dividend growth and enables us to respond positively to the ever changing political and regulatory landscape.”

He added: “Legal & General’s two key economies are the UK and USA, both of which are enjoying some of the strongest growth amongst developed countries.”

Shareholders will receive an interim dividend of 2.9p a share, up 21 per cent on a year earlier.