Prudential beats market on annual results, hits big in Asia

29-01-2008

Prudential beats market on annual results, hits big in Asia
Prudential has said its full-year results were "very strong" with total group insurance showing growth of 21 per cent compared to the previous year.

The UK insurer also said that year-on-year total retail insurance sales increased by 25 per cent.

Much of the growth was attributed to Asia, where the insurance and investment firm said sales rose by 44 per cent for the full year and 35 per cent for the fourth quarter.

"2007 has been another very strong year for the group. These extremely positive business results demonstrate continued growth across Prudential," said chief executive Mark Tucker.

"These results demonstrate the fundamental attractiveness of Asia as the fastest growing region of the world's life assurance markets."

The UK's second-largest insurer said fourth-quarter sales rose 34 per cent with the help of Asian markets and acquisitions from Equitable Life Assurance Society.

The London-based firm beat estimates as new life and pension sales rose to £895 million compared to £667 million a year ago, an increase of nearly 25 per cent.

Despite the strong performance, the company maintained that the general outlook for 2008 was "uncertain".

"We do not currently expect growth in 2008 to reach the very high levels achieved in 2007," Mr Tucker added.

The insurance company, not related to the company of the same name in the US, has added nearly two per cent to its share price in trading today on word of the impressive figures.

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