By Max Clarke

Life insurance and pensions giant, Legal and General saw worldwide sales jump 28% during 2010, generating an operating profit of in excess of £1 billion.

Shareholder dividends were up 24% on the previous year, earning 14.06p per share.

Tim Breedon, L&G Group Chief Executive, commented:

"In 2010 we successfully demonstrated we can both grow the business and deliver improved net cash generation. Today’s results evidence the value created by our improved business model. We are building a strong track record in delivering cash which, coupled with the high visibility of future cash flows, has given the Board the confidence to recommend a further 25% increase in the final dividend to 3.42p per share.

"We are confident about the growth prospects for Legal & General. Customer demand is rising in the UK, and we have the right business model and product mix for the current economic and demographic environment. There is consolidation in many of our markets, and this further underpins our confidence that Legal & General will be a growing force as the welfare state retrenches and individuals increasingly look to high-quality, good value risk, savings and investment provision. We expect to generate £700m of net cash in 2011.