(Adds details, analyst comment, share price)
By Richa Naidu
May 1 Debt-laden life insurer Phoenix Group
Holdings said it was on track to meet the full-year
financial targets set by its board to ensure that the company
can pay its creditors and investors.
The FTSE 250 company said it expected its operating
companies would generate between 500 million and 550 million
pounds ($844.3 million-$928.7 million) of cash in 2014.
The insurer's London-listed stock rose as much as 5 percent
on Thursday morning.
Phoenix makes money by buying European life funds that are
closed to new customers and running them more efficiently.
Meeting its cash targets means Phoenix has the means to purchase
Heavy debt forced Phoenix into a financial restructuring and
a two-year hiatus from the buyout market until early 2013, when
it renegotiated the repayment of its 2.3 billion pound debt.
Phoenix repaid about a third of its debt during the
negotiations and rescheduled the payment of the remaining 1.5
billion pounds to 2019.
The insurer said cash generated in the first quarter ended
March 31 fell about 43 percent to 235 million pounds.
"It doesn't matter. They could make this up in the second,
third or fourth quarter," said JPMorgan Cazenove analyst Ashik
"Ultimately what matters is their target. Because they have
already delivered 235 (million pounds), it looks like their
target is secured."
Musaddi forecast that Phoenix would beat its own
expectations and generate 560 million pounds of cash for the
Shares in Phoenix were up 2.1 percent at 698.2 pence at 0803
($1 = 0.5922 British pounds)
(Editing by Supriya Kurane and Robin Paxton)