Legal & General worldwide sales beat forecast

There is a big problem in the pension industry: L&G CEO

British insurance group Legal & General saw higher than expected sales as it continued to build a set of bolt-on acquisitions into its structure.

In a trading statement on Tuesday, L&G said total worldwide new business on an APE basis was 1.838 billion pounds ($2.9 billion), compared with 1.817 billion pounds forecast by analysts polled by the company.

Net inflows to its investment management division were 3.1 billion pounds over the quarter, bringing the unit's assets under management to 443 billion pounds, L&G said.

"All divisions contributed to our broad-based growth. We are executing well and at pace. Four acquisitions have been successfully completed and net cash is up 20 percent," Chief Executive Nigel Wilson said.

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The insurer has pursued a strategy of bolt on acquisitions, the most recent of which was the 151 million pounds purchase of annuity firm Lucida with 1.4 billion pounds of assets on its books.

Earlier in the year L&G bought out investment funds supermarket Cofunds and a 46.5 percent stake in housebuilder Cala Group.

New business strain of 40 mllion pounds placed less of a burden than expected by analysts on operational cash generation. Net cash generation was up by a fifth to 740 million pounds, L&G said.