Why Old Mutual Is Up 27% This Year

LONDON -- Old Mutual (ISE: OML.L) has advanced 27% to 179 pence so far during 2012, making the share one of this year's best performers in the FTSE 100.

The company, a leading international long-term savings and investment group, seems to have impressed investors with a series of promising statements.

During March, Old Mutual published its preliminary results for the year to Dec. 31. Adjusted pre-tax operating profits rallied 14% to 1.5 billion pounds, adjusted earnings per share gained 13% to 15.7 pence, and the ordinary dividend improved 25% to 5 pence per share.

During May, an interim management statement for the three months to March 31 revealed that funds under management within Old Mutual's core operations had advanced 6% to 284 billion pounds. Old Mutual also said the sale of its Nordic business for 2.1 billion pounds had been completed, which led to approximately 1 billion pounds being returned to shareholders via a special dividend of 18 pence per share.

Then, in August, Old Mutual published its interim results for the six months to June 30. Adjusted pre-tax profits were up 12% to 791 million pounds, while the interim dividend was raised by 17% to 1.75 pence per share. The group also confirmed that its cost-reduction targets had been met and debt of 603 million pounds had been repaid so far in 2012.

Julian Roberts, Old Mutual's chief executive, commented:

Against a backdrop of sustained low growth and falling interest rates we continue to deliver good strategic and operational progress. We are expanding in attractive African markets; introducing new products across the Group; and today are unveiling our UK Platform pricing ahead of the introduction of the Retail Distribution Review.

We have built a portfolio of resilient, high quality and cash generative businesses. Although economic conditions remain uncertain, we remain confident that we have the right offering, the right people and exposure to both emerging and developed markets that will allow us to continue to create value for both shareholders and customers.

Old Mutual's next trading update will be published on Nov. 7 and may reveal further positive news to impress investors.

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