Prudential Surprises With Strong First Half Results Print E-mail

TEP - 12 August 2010 

Prudential has posted a 41% jump in operating profit to £968m in the first half, well ahead of expectations. 

Despite incurring a £377m pre-tax hit as a result of the aborted AIA takeover, the group was also able to increase its interim dividend by 5% to 6.61p per share 

In the UK, Pru's IFRS operating profit was in line with last year at £330m. Profits from the with-profits business were £7m higher at £154m. 

Prudential CEO Tidjane Thiam also stressed the UK was a "valuable part of the group's heritage and history" although he acknowledged it had lower potential for growth than other markets such as Asia.After the failed AIA deal, he said the group would now be focused on organic growth across its markets although the insurer's strategy is always under review. Other options, such as a break-up of parts of the group, would always be looked at in terms of the risk/reward compared to the benchmark of Prudential's current strong performance.

In the UK, the group's APE sales were £382m, up 2% on the same period last year, while new business profit increased by 11% to £135m. 

Pru UK posted total individual annuity sales of £112m, 2% lower than the first half of 2009. With-profits sales for the half-year were 22% of total annuity sales, compared with 14% for the corresponding period last year.

Onshore bond sales of £69m were down 9%, including with-profits bond sales of £60m, which was 15% lower on the first half of 2009. PruFund made up 77% of total with-profits bonds. 


M&G, the group's asset management arm, saw a 40% jump in operating profit to £143m. 

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