Legal & General faces down pension changes in record first quarter

Caitlin Morrison
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Nigel Wilson: “We are adapting well to regulatory and political challenges”
Insurance and investment group Legal & General (L&G) delivered a record performance in the first quarter of 2015, with cash generation up to £330m, an 11 per cent increase on the same period last year.

General insurance gross written premium fell by four per cent to £81m, which the company attributed to “disciplined pricing”, noting that direct sales continued to grow during the three months.

UK protection premium was up five per cent, from £353m to £372m, and the company grew its annuity assets by 19 per cent to £45.6bn, which helped push total assets up by 17 per cent to £736.8bn. However, annuity sales fell by 77 per cent to £800m, down from £3.3bn in the first three months of 2014.

L&G boss Nigel Wilson said: “We are adapting well to regulatory and political challenges, for example, managing the switch to pension freedoms with a new range of cash and retirement products, which now includes lifetime mortgages.”

Barrie Cornes at Panmure Gordon said the company “remains well positioned for the challenges facing the UK life industry”.

Meanwhile, Will Hedden, dealer at London Capital Group, said: “While L&G share price growth has been unspectacular this year, should the insurer continue to deal with the changing regulatory environment whilst successfully building on its own operational progress, the company should be able to weather the changes.”

Shares in L&G were up by 0.7 per cent yesterday.

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