Old Mutual silent on Skandia progress

British financial services group Old Mutual declined on Wednesday to be drawn on the progress of talks with Skandia regarding a possible takeover of the Swedish insurance group.

“We are continuing to have discussions and when we have something to say, we’ll say it,” Old Mutual’s chief executive Jim Sutcliffe told reporters after the group posted a 29-percent rise in first-half operating profits.

Old Mutual had said on May 13 that it was in “preliminary discussions” with Skandia concerning a potential transaction.

Old Mutual, which does most of its business in South Africa, is headquartered in London where its shares are listed.

The company said that operating profits had risen to £554 million (7.5 billion kronor) during the first six months of 2005, compared with £428 million during the same period a year earlier.