UK numbers up despite challenges

INSURANCE group Prudential posted pre-tax profit of £2.6bn for 2014, up 71 per cent on last year’s £1.5bn, despite significant changes in the UK market.

New business sales were up by 12 per cent, from £4.2bn to £4.7bn, while in the UK sales grew by 18 per cent, from £725m to £857m.

The company increased its full year dividend by 10 per cent, to 36.93p per share.

Outgoing chief executive Tidjane Thiam said the strong performance in Prudential’s UK life business had emerged “despite an unprecedented level of regulatory change affecting annuities”, one of the group’s core products.

“Looking ahead, the economic environment in the US and the UK appears to show signs of improvement,” he added.

“We remain confident in our ability to produce profitable growth over the long-term and continue to create value for our customers and shareholders.”

Shares in the insurer dipped by 3.1 per cent yesterday.