Prudential PLC's Asia Arm Helps Lift 1st Half Profit; To Merge UK Businesses

By Razak Musah Baba Features Dow Jones Newswires

Prudential PLC (PRU.LN) more than doubled its first half net profit helped by a strong growth in its Asia business and said Thursday it will merge its U.K. businesses.

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The financial services group's net profit during the six months ended June 30, rose to 1.51 billion pounds ($1.96 billion) from GBP687 million a year earlier. Total revenue, net of reinsurance rose 21% to GBP43.01 billion from GBP35.54 billion a year earlier.

"Our successful strategy, innovative products and strong execution have driven growth across all of our main performance measures led by double-digit growth in our Asian business. We have achieved our objective of generating over GBP10 billion of group cumulative free surplus between Jan. 1, 2014 and Dec. 31, six months early and we remain on track to achieve the remaining Asia-focused objectives by the end of this year," Group Chief Executive Mike Wells said.

Also Thursday, Prudential said it plans to combine its asset manager, M&G, and Prudential U.K. & Europe (Prudential U.K.&E) to form M&G Prudential, a savings and investments business ideally positioned to target growing customer demand for comprehensive financial solutions.

John Foley, currently chief executive of Prudential U.K.&E, will become chief executive of M&G Prudential and remains a member of the Prudential PLC board. Anne Richards will remain chief executive of M&G and a member of the Prudential PLC board. Both Ms. Richards and Clare Bousfield, CEO Insurance for Prudential U.K.&E, will become deputy chief executives of M&G Prudential, the company said.

Shares at 0855 GMT down 15 pence, or 0.8%, at GBP18.27, valuing the company at GBP47.27 billion.

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Write to Razak Musah Baba at razak.baba@wsj.com; Twitter: @Raztweet

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 10, 2017 05:19 ET (09:19 GMT)