Legal & General has said that its first-half profit before tax attributable to equity holders increased 23% to £826m for the first half of this year, compared to £672m for the same period in 2015.

Profit after tax went up 22% to £667m, and earnings per share grew 24% to 11.27 pence.

Adjusted earnings per share were 11.20 pence, compared to 9.79 pence last year.

Adjusted operating profit grew 10% from last year to £822m.

A major highlight of this half yearly report was the group’s LGR (Legal and General Retirement) annuity assets moving up 18% at £51bn from what it was at £43.4bn in H1 2015.

The group-wide direct investment had gone up by 28% at £8bn to what it was £6.2bn in H1 2015.

Legal & General’s investment management division LGIM had its assets under management go up by 18% at £841.5bn compared to £714.6bn recorded in H1 2015.

Legal & General Group CEO Nigel Wilson said: “We have a strong balance sheet, which gives us the flexibility and capacity to invest in support of each of our businesses.

"There are many different views of the outlook for economic growth, the state of financial markets and political uncertainty. We reflect this in our approach to risk management.

"While we cannot be immune to this uncertainty, we remain confident that we will continue to deliver attractive returns for shareholders, great value to customers and better outcomes for society. Our five long-term growth drivers, ageing populations, globalisation of asset markets, creating real assets, welfare reform and digital remain unaffected and will continue to provide many growth opportunities.”

The pension and insurance company also reported a 20.4% increase in return on equity in contrast to H1 2015’s 19.1%.

Solvency II surplus has come down though at £5.3bn from £5.5bn recorded in FY 2015.

Image: The Legal & General Assurance Society Limited building at 7 Waterloo Street, Birmingham. Photo courtesy of Elliott Brown.