London - Insurer Old Mutual [JSE:OML] reported a 12% rise in
first-half profit, helped by a strong performance at its South African banking
business, and said it was pressing ahead with plans to expand across
Old Mutual, which runs insurance, banking and asset
management businesses in about 30 countries, made an adjusted pretax operating
profit of £791m in the first six months of the year, it said on Wednesday.
The improvement partly reflected a 27% jump in profit at
Nedbank Group [JSE:NED], its majority-owned South African banking business.
Old Mutual, which in March announced plans to bolster its
presence in fast-growing African markets, said it was considering a move into
Nigerian non-life insurance.
The company, which has said it aimed to sell its Nedbank
stake as part of a plan to refocus on life insurance and asset management, also
said it had paid off £603m of debt this year.
That brought it within £450m of its target of reducing
borrowing by £1.5bn by the end of 2012.
Old Mutual shares closed at 170 pence on Tuesday, valuing it
at about £8bn.
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