Prudential hikes dividend as profits climb

INSURER Prudential hiked its dividend by a larger-than-expected 16 per cent this morning, as strong Asian growth drove a jump in profits.

Prudential shareholders will receive a total dividend of 29.19p a share, a 16 per cent increase year on year.

The dividend increase comes as the insurer posted a 54 per cent jump in pre-tax profit to £2.8bn.

Prudential, founded 165 years ago in London, has avoided the economic turbulence afflicting its European competitors thanks to a strong focus on fast-growing Asia, the source of nearly half its sales.

Chief executive Tidjane Thiam said that Prudential added more than 1m Asian customers last year.

“Our business in Asia has continued to demonstrate the benefits of both its scale and its diversification,” he added.