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The Biz: R&SA HAILS RISE IN UK BUSINESS.

Byline: By NEIL HODGSON

LIVERPOOL'S Royal & Sun Alliance insurance group said profits from its UK business were flowing faster than a year ago as its trading comeback gathered pace.

Overall profits before tax hit pounds 296m in the six months to June 30, up 24% from pounds 147m. The operating profits soared 79% from pounds 184m to pounds 329m.

R&SA said underwriting profits in the UK, where it owns the More Th>n general insurance brand, were 61.2% higher than a year ago at pounds 79m.

More Th>n has a key operation in Liverpool, where the group employs about 2,000 staff. Bosses said today that it has increased staffing at its More Th>n operations in India to 457.

Progress was achieved against all key performance measures in the UK, with growth of 6% in written premiums for personal insurance and 5% for commercial cover.

Efforts to strengthen its balance sheet have included the closure of its final salary pension schemes.

Chief executive Andy Haste said: 'It has been a good first half of the year, with strong performances from our core businesses and further progress in the US

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PROGRESS: Andy Haste
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Aug 11, 2005
Words:198
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