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Legal & General profits hurt by wild swings in markets

Legal & General reported lower first-half pretax profits Thursday as investment performance was hurt by volatility in global financial markets.

For the six months to 30 June, profit before tax fell 19% to £942m from £1.16bn a year earlier, and earnings per share fell 8% to 13p from 14.19p.

Profit before tax was pressured by an 81% slump in investment and other variances to £33m for the half year, down from £175m last year. This included a £90m first-half loss from the Legal & General's capital traded assets portfolio. Operating profit came in at £909bn, up 5% from £862bn in the previous year.

Solvency II coverage ratio was improved to 193% in the first half of the year, from 186% the previous year.

The group's interim dividend rose 7% to 4.60p per share, up from 4.30p last year. 'We are confident Legal & General will see continuing momentum in H2 2018, and we are on track to deliver a similar performance out to 2020 as that achieved in 2011-2015; where EPS grew by 10% per annum,' the company said.

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