- Wealth manager Quilter said it had agreed to sell its life insurance and pensions division to ReAssure for £425m, while also reporting a first-half loss.

The company said the sale would solidify its position as an advice-led wealth manager.

A 'meaningful proportion of the deal's net proceeds would be returned to shareholders, in line with previous asset disposals, it added.

Pre-tax losses for the six months through June amounted to £32m, compared to a £2m profit on-year, and included one-off restructuring and tax costs, plus separation charges associated with the split from Old Mutual.

Adjusted profit rose 5% to £115m and the company declared an interim dividend of 1.7p per share.

'Quilter produced a solid set of results for the first half of 2019, as evidenced by growth in adjusted profit before tax with revenues growing modestly faster than costs and a stable operating margin,; chief executive Paul Feeney said.

'We are focussed on making Quilter a simpler, more efficient wealth management business, and the announcement today of the sale of Quilter Life Assurance is a further significant step forward in this regard.'

'Good progress continues to be made on optimisation and with the UK platform transformation programme, notwithstanding the additional costs announced today.'

'While we have encountered some short-term delays, we are focussed on ensuring the programme is implemented to our desired quality and still expect to complete the programme by this time next year.'

'While the uncertain political environment in the UK evidenced in the latter half of 2018 has continued into 2019, gross new business sales have held up well at £6.0bn.'

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