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L&G shares get boost

LEGAL & General shares put on 14p to 511p yesterday, encouraged by its first-half new business figures, the first from the quoted life insurers, writes Paul Durman.

In both the UK and worldwide, L&G achieved a 27 per cent rise in equivalent premium income, the industry measure that adds a tenth of single premiums to the more valuable annual premium business. The UK total increased to pounds 122.7m, and the worldwide total to pounds 156.1m.

The bulk of the improvement stemmed from lump sum investments and other one-off transactions in the UK. Sales of unitised with-profits bonds soared from pounds 27.1m to pounds 140.4m.

The company also won pounds 139m of business to provide annuities to a group pension scheme. This lifted total UK pensions single premiums from pounds 202.1m to pounds 335.8m. New UK annual premiums also edged ahead from pounds 73m to pounds 74.1m.