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Prudential's first-half profit climbs to £952m

The financial services group delivers its highest-ever first-half new business profit of £1.14bn.

Despite considerable global macroeconomic challenges, the British insurer Prudential has reported a profit of £952m for the first half ended 30 June 2012. This compares to £831m for the same period last year.

Operating profit increased by 13 per cent to £1.16bn (2011: £1.03bn), while total revenue net of reinsurance was £23.88bn (2011: £21.6bn).

Tidjane Thiam, chief executive of Prudential, said:

Our track record of profitable growth has continued as we have delivered our highest-ever first half new business profit and IFRS operating profit of £1.14bn and £1.16bn respectively. Net cash remittances from our business units to the group have grown in line with our strategy and we retain one of the strongest capital positions in the sector.

Asia delivered a 21 per cent rise in IFRS operating profit and a 18 per cent rise in new business profit. Importantly, Asia’s cash contribution to the Group was £126m, an increase of 20 per cent, and evidence that our business in Asia continues to deliver both growth and cash for our shareholders.

In the US we continue to perform well and Jackson delivered IFRS operating profit of £442m, a 30 per cent increase from 2011 and a cash contribution to group of £247m, lower than 2011 which benefited from an exceptional release of surplus by Jackson.

The group’s UK performance has been resilient over the first half of 2012 with an increase in new business profit to £152m (2011: £146m).

Thiam added:

Our UK business has delivered a good performance, with IFRS operating profit remaining flat at £353m and net cash remittances, slightly lower at £230m. We continue to focus on the lines of business where we have a clear competitive advantage, namely annuities and with-profits, and are maintaining our selective approach to the bulk annuity market. In the first half of the year we completed a single large bulk annuity contract which contributed £23 million to our new business profit.

In asset management M&G has delivered a particularly good performance in a difficult investment market, with net inflows of £4.9 billion. Once again, our high-margin retail business continues to be the driver of our strong inflows being the market leader in UK retail net flows for the 14th quarter in a row.