Financial services group Old Mutual unveiled plans to return 1 billion pounds to shareholders via a special dividend, in the wake of last year's sale of its Nordic business.

Old Mutual said it would use the proceeds of that disposal, which saw the Nordic units sold to mutual insurer Skandia Liv for around 22.5 billion Swedish crowns (2.10 billion pound), for the special dividend payout.

The remaining 1.1 billion pounds from that sale would be used to cut the company's debt.

Old Mutual, whose businesses range from insurance to banking and asset management, also issued a trading update in which it said it expected another strong operational performance in the second half of its 2011 financial year.

However, it would book a 270 million pound goodwill impairment charge due to slower growth at its American division.

Old Mutual's London-listed shares were up 2.7 percent in early afternoon trade on Friday, outperforming a 0.5 percent gain in Britain's benchmark FTSE 100 index <.FTSE>.

(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Neil Maidment)