Earnings per share in Old Mutual more than halve in first six months but investors are still buying

Savings and investment group Old Mutual has reported an 11 per cent increase in pre-tax profits to £805m for the first half of the year, but a 54 per cent fall in basic earnings per share to 8.9p from 19.2p (release).

The group said adjusting operating profit increased by 14 per cent to £801m, in line with analysts’ expectations. It’s also announced an interim dividend of 2.1p – up by a fifth.

Chief executive Julian Roberts says the group's performance has been "good", with the emerging markets and US asset management businesses performing particularly well.

Investors seem to agree, with shares up over 4.5 per cent in the early hours of trading, recovering from losses made late yesterday and making it the biggest riser in the FTSE.

Additionally, we have taken significant steps in our plans to expand into the African markets that we have identified as key to our success, and we have continued to grow our Wealth business.

We are working with our retail customers in South Africa to help them through a challenging economic environment. We are seeing improved conditions in the US and the UK, and sub-Saharan Africa continues to grow strongly. We are focused on delivering our strategy and maintaining our financial discipline. We are clear on our priorities and confident that we will continue to deliver sustainable value to our shareholders and customers.