Prudential lifts new business profits despite annuity slump

Caitlin Morrison
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Prudential boss Tidjane Thiam
Insurance giant Prudential grew its new business profit by 17 per cent in the first nine months of 2014, up to £1.5bn from £1.4bn in the same period of last year.

The company reported that UK new business profit grew by 28 per cent in the first three quarters, to £209m, while annual premium equivalent (Ape) sales increased by 20 per cent to £648m. According to Prudential, its UK business “continues to focus on its core strengths of with-profits and retirement solutions”.

Individual annuities in the firm’s UK and Eur­ope insurance operations fell by 47 per cent in the first nine months of the year, dropping from £1.6bn to £861m. The company said this reflected the slowdown in the market, which followed the UK government’s introduction of reforms to the pension industry.

In the company’s Asian operations, new business profit grew by 15 per cent to £775m, with Ape sales up by 14 per cent. Prudential chief executive Tidjane Thiam said this demonstrated the strength of the company’s “broad-based regional platform”.

Thiam added: “Our performance in 2014 across geographies is strong: our disciplined execution in pursuing clearly defined long-term opportunities in Asia, the US and the UK, has continued to drive profitable growth, in spite of a challenging environment. We re­main confident ab­out our prospects for the rest of the year and our ability to create lasting long-term value for our customers.”

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