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Old Mutual profits jump after 145% increase in UK platform sales

Old Mutual has reported IFRS profits before tax of £443m for the six months to June 30, up 176 per cent from £160m for the same period last year.

The firm, which owns Skandia, will pay out an interim dividend to shareholders of 1.1p a share. It did not pay a dividend in H1 2009.

It has also announced the sale of its US life business to Harbinger Capital Partners for £220m. The firm says the transaction lowers the group’s risk profile.

Overall sales on an annual premium equivilent basis were up 28 per cent to £814m during the period. This was boosted by a 145 per cent increase in sales on the Skandia UK platform and a 66 per cent jump in pension sales in Britain.

The firm has also reported mutual funds sales doubling and Isa business up 116 per cent on the first half of 2009.

Group chief executive Julian Roberts says: “We are very pleased with our performance in the first half of 2010.

“We are driving change throughout the group and are making good progress on our strategy to simplify and improve financial performance. We are today announcing the sale of US life to Harbinger and we are also on track to deliver on our cost reduction and return on equity targets.

“We are confident about the outlook for the full year although market uncertainties remain.”

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