Shares in Legal & General were up on the FTSE 100 in morning trading after the financial services company reported a rise in sales in the full year 2010.

Sales increased 28 per cent during the year to £1.8 billion, while operating profit declined from £1.1 billion to just over a billion pounds. Pre-tax profit was broadly flat at just under £1.1 billion.

The group said that it would be raising its full year dividend 24 per cent to 4.75 pence per share.

Tim Breedon, Chief Executive of Legal & General, 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.

"Our balance sheet is strong, each of our business divisions is profitable and cash-generative, and we are delivering excellent results across the Group."

By 09:10 shares in Legal & General were up 0.09 per cent on the FTSE 100 to 111.20 pence per share.