UK – First-half profits at Legal & General Investment Management have risen 8.7% - with assets under management going up to 123 billion pounds (173 billion euros).

Insurer Legal & General said profit on continuing institutional fund management operations rose to 25 million pounds from 23 million pounds in the first half of 2002.

It said LGIM’s total funds under management rose 7.2% to 123 billion pounds from 114 billion pounds. Institutional funds under management rose to 74.6 billion pounds from 70.8 billion pounds, a rise of 5.4%.

LGIM, the third largest manager of European pension fund assets, had new institutional business worth 5.9 billion pounds in the period, down from the 2002 period’s 7.2 billion pounds.

Operating profit at its L&G’s UK life and pensions arm fell by six percent, or 17 million pounds, to 260 million pounds. International life and pensions operating profit was up 27% at 46 million pounds.

In the UK individual pensions market, annual premium business fell to 57 million pounds from 93 million pounds while single premium pension new business was up 37% at 516 million pounds.

Overall, L&G posted a pre-tax profit of 365 million pounds, up one percent on the prior year period. “Despite tough market conditions, Legal & general has had a good start to the year with an improved new business contribution,” said chief executive David Prosser.