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Phoenix Group generates serious cash as it integrates AXA Wealth, Abbey Life

By Josh White

Date: Monday 20 Mar 2017

Phoenix Group generates serious cash as it integrates AXA Wealth, Abbey Life

(ShareCast News) - Specialist closed life fund consolidator Phoenix Group announced what its board described as a "strong set of results" for the year to 31 December on Monday, with £486m of cash generation, up from £225m, meeting the group's 2016 cash generation target.
The FTSE 250 company reported a Solvency II surplus of £1.9bn as at year-end, compared to £1.3bn at the end of 2015.

Its shareholder capital coverage ratio was 170% as at 31 December, compared to 154% a year earlier, and group operating profit rose to £351m from £324m.

The board proposed a final dividend of 23.9p per share, an equivalent 5% increase on the 2015 final dividend.

"Phoenix has had a highly successful year in completing two acquisitions, allowing us to increase our dividend per share," commented group CEO Clive Bannister.

"The group has safely incorporated our new customers from the AXA Wealth and Abbey Life businesses and is focused on delivering the planned cost and capital synergies."

Bannister said the board was "grateful" for the support of investors during 2016, and it believed there would be further consolidation in the UK life industry.

"We continue to explore opportunities as they arise.

"The group's recent Tier 3 bond issue and the achievement of £282m of cash generation from the AXA business provides Phoenix with greater flexibility in financing future acquisitions."

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