Prudential Plc has posted rising profits led by growth in Asia during the first six months of 2018.
The group saw IFRS operating profit rise by 9% to £2,405 million on a constant exchange rate basis, it revealed in its half year results this morning. The first half dividend was increased by 8% to 15.67p per share.
Group chief executive Mike Wells said the business had delivered “high-quality, profitable growth,” while at the same time taking necessary steps ahead of the demerger of M&G Prudential from the group, which was revealed in March.
Asia saw double-digit growth across the board with new business profit rising 11% to £1,122 million, IFRS operating profit up 14% to £1,016 million, and underlying free surplus generation up 14% to £590 million.
In the UK and Europe, Wells said continued demand for M&G Prudential’s differentiated product propositions had resulted in third-party net inflows of £3.5 billion for the asset management business, M&G, and net inflows of £4.4 billion in PruFund-related business.
The planned demerger of M&G Prudential from the group, which will result in two separately listed companies, is progressing well, according to the firm.
Wells, who described the demerger as demonstrating Prudential’s “commitment to creating shareholder value,” said the implementation of the group’s merger and transformation programme remains on track to meet its objectives.
“Each of our businesses is built around strong and growing customer needs, and we continue to target growth in high-quality, recurring-premium health and protection and fee business,” the chief executive said of the results. “I am confident that, as we create new and better products, build our distribution channels and improve all our capabilities, we are well placed to continue to generate profitable growth for our shareholders.”