Chief executive Clive Bannister told City A.M. that his new chairman would bring a “breadth of expertise” to the firm, which also announced first-half profits of £207m, up from £136m for the same period last year.
“These are strong results in a period of uncertainty. We’ve generated £119m cash, giving us the confidence to raise [full-year] cash targets from £500-600m to £600-700m,” Bannister added.
Phoenix operates life insurance firms that are closed to new business and combines them into a more profitable whole. But it is under pressure to renegotiate banking facilities relating to more than £2.1bn of debt that it used to fund previous expansions.
“While there is no update on the debt refinancing, management remains comfortable that discussions will reach a successful outcome,” said analyst Matthew Preston at Berenberg bank.