Wednesday 13 March 2019 11:52 am

Strong results in Asia push up Prudential’s profits

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Reporter covering economics and markets. You can send me stories or get in touch at

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Prudential saw profits in Asia grow by 10 per cent over 2018, as it cashed in on customer demand for health, protection and savings services in the continent.

The figures

The British life assurance and financial services company’s profit before tax rose by three per cent in 2018 to reach £4.8bn.

Prudential’s cash holdings and short-term investments grew to £3.2bn in 2018 from £2.3bn a year earlier, helping push its group solvency II capital surplus to £17.2bn, up seven per cent from 2017.

The company’s operating earnings per share grew to 156.6p from 145.2p a year earlier, while its ordinary dividend per share increased five per cent to 49.35p.

Why it’s interesting

Prudential’s profits in Asia grew to £2bn in 2018 from £1.8bn a year earlier, which helped mitigate a 14 per cent fall in profits from its US operations.

Profits in the UK and Europe increased by 32 per cent, rising from £860m to £1.1bn, although this remains lower than its 2015 profit of £1.2bn in the region.

What Prudential said

Group chief executive Mike Wells said: “In 2018, our financial performance, again led by our Asia operations, is testament to the scale of our opportunity set, the depth of our capabilities and our unrelenting focus on executing our strategy at pace.”

“In Asia we have again delivered double-digit growth across our key metrics”, he said. “This performance is both broad-based, with 10 markets achieving double-digit growth in new business profit, and high-quality, with health and protection new business profit growing by 15 per cent.”