Tuesday 1 November 2011 4:06 am

L&G sales flat as it targets £1bn cash for year

Follow John Dunne
Life insurer Legal & General said it was set to generate close to £1bn in cash this year as it reported flat nine-month sales.

L&G, Britain’s third-biggest insurer by market value, generated £736m of cash in the nine months to 30 September putting it on course to hit a full-year target of £900m.

L&G has been at the forefront of a drive by the industry to boost cash generation by reducing commission payments to brokers and focussing on less capital intensive products.

The move was designed to allay investor worries about the industry’s ability to pay dividends after some insurers, including L&G, cut their payouts to preserve capital during the 2008 financial crisis.

“We are confident we can continue to grow from a position of strength whilst increasing our balance sheet strength and at the same time supporting a growing dividend,” outgoing Chief Executive Tim Breedon said in a statement.

L&G had sales of £1.338bn in the first nine months of the year, little changed from £1.347bn in the same period last year, and broadly in line with the £1.331bn expected by analysts in a company poll.