UK insurance giant provides profits surprise

Resolution, the UK’s biggest manager of closed life insurance funds, today unveiled better-than-expected full-year results as it provided some welcome news for investors left disappointed when recent takeover talks were called off.

Resolution, the UK’s biggest manager of closed life insurance funds, today unveiled better-than-expected full-year results as it provided some welcome news for investors left disappointed when recent takeover talks were called off.

The group, which has grown at a rapid pace following the acquisition of Abbey National businesses including Scottish Mutual, Scottish Provident and Abbey National Life, posted operating profits of £390.9m (€578.8m), some £60m (€88.8m) more than analysts had been expecting.

The news provided some much-needed uplift to Resolution’s shares, which fell 5% in one day last week when the group dashed hopes of a sale, revealing that talks with potential bidders were over.

Shares were trading up 2%, or 13.5p, at 639p after the group reported strong profits growth and said that further acquisitions were a possibility in a bid to woo disgruntled investors.

Resolution group chief executive Mike Biggs said: “The company continues to assess possible acquisitions and business combinations and has the scope to return capital to shareholders should it consider that the available transactions do not create sufficient value for them.”

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