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Resolution on track to return further £250m to shareholders

Resolution is on target to return £250m cash to shareholders next year following the transfer of certain businesses to its subsidiary Friends Life Group.

The company announced in June it will return a total £500m excess cash to shareholders to focus on its UK life project. An on-market share buyback scheme has already returned £250m to shareholders following the June announcement.

Resolution says the remaining £250m will be returned in the first half of next year, subject to market conditions and regulatory approvals.

The transfers mean the targeted £235m in capital synergies have been delivered this year.

Resolution will formally acquire Winterthur Life UK from Axa UK tomorrow. The company says that from December 1, it will no longer hold any material operations as ‘held for sale’.

Resolution completed its acquisition of Friends Provident in November 2009, and just under a year later completed its acquisition of the Axa UK life business in September 2010. In January 2011 it completed the acquisition of Bupa Health Assurance.

The three brands have come together under the Friends Life brand.

Yesterday Resolution also confirmed it will be concentrating on the completion of its UK life project before starting further restructuring projects elsewhere, a move first announced in June.

The company says having separate investment vehicles for restructuring projects in the UK and Western Europe will secure “a successful outcome” for UK life project shareholders and ensure that other investments do not conflict with the UK life project.

Resolution has also agreed to reducing the working hours of chief executive John Tiner and chief financial officer Jim Newman to an average of three days a week from the beginning of next year.

Shareholders are due to vote on the proposals announced yesterday at a meeting in Guernsey in January.

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