This is one I have written up a couple of times earlier this year and in particular when it had been hit on the back of changes to annuities in the budget and a clumsy announcement by the reguulator. It was about 207 pence then and has since gone ex the final dividend which was worth 3.3% and the shares are today trading at 233 pence to give a total return of around 15% since the end of March if you bought in around those levels.
They have annoucned interims today which look pretty strong and you can read by clicking the blue link. The highlight for me was the 21% increase in the dividend which they say is in line with their dividend guidance announced at the 2013 full year results. This was to take net cash cover down from 1.8x to 1.5x in two years. So exceptional growth in the short term which is nice while it lasts but the business seems to be growing well on an underlying basis and is generating lots of cash so looks good for the medium term too - especialy when it starts from a yield of around 4.7% with 16% growth forecast for the full year which I guess now might be exceeded given the increase in the interim.
I also like their strategy which they say is based on five key macro trends which in the statement they describe as follows:
"The Group continues to execute on its clear and focused strategy based on five key macro trends: ageing populations; globalisation of asset markets; welfare reform; digital lifestyles and retrenching banks, through both organic growth and selective bolt-on acquisitions. Our response to these trends: Retirement Solutions; LGIM international expansion; Protection; Digital Solutions and Direct Investments are continuing to drive growth in our cash and earnings."
See the full annoucnement at the link above for more details.