Prudential net plunges 73pc

Business | Reuters and Stella Zhai 12 Aug 2020

Prudential (2378) saw its net profit for the first half this year plunge by 73 percent from a year ago to US$534 million (HK$4.17 billion) and said it plans to spin off its US business Jackson to focus on Asia and Africa.

The British insurer declared an interim dividend of 5.37 US cents, representing one-third of the expected full-year dividend for 2020 under the group's new dividend policy, it said.

Operating profits slid 3 percent year-on-year to US$2.54 billion during the first six months, with that from Jackson's profit falling 19 percent to US$1.27 billion. Operating profits from Asia grew 12 percent to US$1.73 billion.

A minority initial public offering of Jackson is planned for the first half of 2021, with "full divestment over time," Prudential said.

Prudential recorded a new business value of US$353 million in Hong Kong during the first half this year, a 67 percent plunge from a year ago, with annual premium equivalent down 64 percent year-on-year to US$388 million, dragged down by the reduced visitor levels due to travel restrictions between the mainland and Hong Kong, it said.

Shares of the insurer grew 3.3 percent to HK$128.40 yesterday.

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