Legal & General (L&G), the FTSE 100-listed financial services group, hiked its dividend by a fifth after a strong rise in profits and record sales in 2012.
The company proposed on Wednesday to pay shareholders a final dividend per share (DPS) of 5.69p, up 20% from the 4.74p paid out in 2011. This brings the full-year DPS to 7.65p, also up 20% from 6.40p previously.
L&G, which provides investments, insurance and insurance, said that the "uncertain, sluggish economy has had a minimal impact" on its business, as it reported record annual premium equivalent (APE) sales of £2.11bn, up 15% from the £1.84bn reported the year before. This was helped by a 25% increase in UK Protection, 26% growth Individual Annuities and a 15% sales jump in its biggest division, Savings.
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Chief Executive Nigel Wilson said that the more important growth drivers for L&G are "ageing populations, falling state spending on welfare and new long-term investment opportunities as banks retrench".
"Our expertise, scale and synergies enable us to provide solutions to these challenges, placing us squarely among the beneficiaries from these structural changes."
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