Prudential aims to double Asian profits by 2013

City A.M. Reporter
THE UK'S largest insurer, Prudential, aims to double the value of its 2009 new business profits in Asia by 2013, taking advantage of the region's low penetration rates, it announced today.

It is also targeted a doubling of its 2009 life insurance and asset management pre-tax profit by 2013, Prudential said in a statement posted on the Hong Kong stock exchange.

"Our strategy is sound, and we continue to pursue it with the operating discipline that has delivered excellent results on all measures over a sustained period," said Prudential chief executive Tidjane Thiam in the statement.

Prudential reported new business profit of £713m in 2009, and £713m in life insurance and asset management pre-tax operating profit in the same year, it said.

New business profit is a term used in the insurance industry to show how much premiums grew in a specified period, and is used because costs tend to be higher at the start of a policy's lifespan, which could distort actual earnings.

Asia has fuelled much of Prudential's business in the past few years, where it attempted a $35.5bn (£22.8bn) purchase of AIA and where insurance spending remains low compared with developed markets such as Britain.

The company reported a stronger-than-expected 17 per cent rise in third-quarter sales in November, helped by strong growth in its flagship Asian markets.