Insurer Resolution H1 profits top forecasts

Tue Aug 13, 2013 2:28am EDT

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LONDON Aug 13 (Reuters) - British life insurance group Resolution posted better-than-expected first-half profits on Tuesday, helped by strong growth in its UK business.

The group, owner of pensions and investment firm Friends Life, said IFRS-based operating pretax profits rose 17 percent year-on-year over the six months to end-June to 191 million pounds ($295.67 million). Analysts at Credit Suisse had forecast 182 million pounds.

The UK division saw new business rise 41 percent to 89 million pounds, although in its international division the value of new business dropped slightly to 21 million pounds from 22 million pounds.

Resolution, created in 2008 by entrepreneur Clive Cowdery to buy underperforming British life insurers and merge them into a more profitable whole, said the total group value of new business - a measure of profitability - was 97 millon pounds, unchanged from a year ago, while group margin rose to 2.8 percent.

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