RSA first-half operating profit rises 15 percent to $475 million

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RSA first-half operating profit rises 15 percent to $475 million

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LONDON (Reuters) – British motor and home insurer RSA <RSA.L> posted an above-forecast operating profit of 360 million pounds ($475.45 million) in the first half, led by strong performances in Canada and Scandinavia, it said on Wednesday. Operating profit rose 15 percent from a year earlier, RSA said in a trading statement. Analysts had forecast operating profit of 338 million pounds, according to a company-supplied consensus forecast. Underlying return on tangible equity was 16.6 percent, against a target range of 13-17 percent and forecast 15.3 percent. Net written premiums rose 11 percent to 3.4 billion pounds on a reported currency basis, against a forecast 3.35 billion. Best known in Britain for its More Than brand, RSA has been selling businesses and cutting costs under chief executive Stephen Hester, the former boss of RBS <RBS.L>, who joined in 2014 to overhaul the company. RSA said it would pay an interim dividend of 6.6 pence, up 32 percent but below a forecast 7 pence.

(Reporting by Carolyn Cohn; Editing by Rachel Armstrong)
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