- Insurer RSA reported an increase in first-half operating profits, driven by strong performance in its Personal Lines business.

Group operating profit excluding exits rose to £308m from £280m a year earlier, while group underwriting profit was £181m excluding exits, up from £153m a year earlier. The company said this was 'consistent' with its plans and added that current year underwriting profit was up 70% compared with the first half of 2018.

'RSA is reporting a solid first half 2019. Particularly pleasing is the improvement in current year underwriting results, which represent our best first half in the last 10 years. Our Personal Lines business continues to drive this performance,' said group chief executive Stephen Hester.

Despite 'headwinds' from lower bond yields and weaker prior-year development, the company said it was 'on or ahead of schedule' to deliver the full earned effect of underwriting, pricing and portfolio changes in each of its regions.

The company said it would pay an interim dividend of 7.5p per share, a 3% increase on 2018.

At 8:30am: [LON:RSA] RSA Insurance Group PLC share price was +15.6p at 576.2p

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