Shares in Legal & General were down on the FTSE 100 in afternoon trading despite the financial services company reported a rise in net cash in the first nine months of the year.

Net cash rose 14 per cent from the same period last year to £526 million. In addition the group added that it expected to exceed its £600 million target by the end of the year.

Legal & General also said that its assets under management rose 10 per cent to £342 billion, while investment management gross new funds increased 13 per cent to £27.6 billion.

Worldwide sales were reported as rising 27 per cent to £1.3 billion.

Tim Breedon, Chief Executive of Legal & General, said, "These results demonstrate that we are successfully delivering both improvements to cash generation and growth in sales. The Group generated £526m of net cash in the first nine months and we are ahead of our plans to deliver £600m of net cash in 2010. Worldwide sales of £1.3bn in the first nine months of 2010 are nearly as much as in the whole of 2009.

"LGIM is successfully increasing assets under management and diversifying its revenue. In the first 9 months, 18% of LGIM gross sales were to non pension clients and 13% of gross sales were to international clients. Our capital light strategy in savings is delivering cash and higher assets under administration, up to £61bn at the end of September. In annuities and protection, we continue to target high quality new business with £275m APE written in the first nine months. Our strategy of cash generation, capital management and growth in the international portfolio is progressing well.

"We are optimistic about the Group's medium term growth prospects. We see strong organic growth opportunities across our risk, savings and investment management franchises where we have built market leading positions. This, coupled with the opportunities to export our investment management and bancassurance models into new markets, puts the Group in an excellent position for the future."

By 14:30 shares in Legal & General were down 1.55 per cent on the FTSE 100 to 101.60 pence per share.