Asia market boosts Prudential's earnings

Business | Lucas Lo 14 Mar 2019

The net profit of Prudential (2378) rose 26 percent from 2017 to 3.01 billion UK pounds (HK$31.1 billion), with a second interim dividend of 33.68 pence per share.

The total dividend payout per share increased by 5 percent to 49.35 pence, reflecting its strong performance last year and confidence in business prospects. Basic earnings per share in 2018 was 116.9 pence and operating profit rose 6 percent to 4.83 billion pounds

Profit from Asia was boosted by 14 percent to 2.16 billion pounds last year, but operating profit in the United States slid by 11 percent to 1.92 billion pounds due to the higher market-related DAC amortization and lower spread-based income.

The group saw an increase in profit from new business by 11 percent to 3.88 billion pounds, driven by the impact of its increasing health and protection sales in Asia and higher US interest rates and resilient performance in Britain and Europe.

Chief executive Mike Wells said the group was making good progress in demerging M&G Prudential, its savings and investment business in Britain and Europe, into a separate company, while Prudential will focus on Asia and the US.

The group has transferred 36 billion pounds in customer assets to its new subsidiary in Luxembourg in response to Brexit.

The group will pay attention to the risks surrounding Brexit, as well as the slowdown in the global economy, and the Sino-US trade war, he added.

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