Sales down, profit up for Prudential

The Prudential Tower in Cecil Street. In Asia, Prudential is focused on meeting the protection and savings needs of the growing middle classes through its agency force and bank partnerships, says group chief executive Mike Wells.
The Prudential Tower in Cecil Street. In Asia, Prudential is focused on meeting the protection and savings needs of the growing middle classes through its agency force and bank partnerships, says group chief executive Mike Wells.ST FILE PHOTO

Sales in Singapore shrink by 13% after end of two bancassurance tie-ups

The end of its bancassurance agreements with Maybank and SingPost last year has hit sales at British insurer Prudential for the first six months of the year.

The firm posted total annual premium equivalent (APE) sales in Singapore of £153 million (S$333 million) in the six months to June 30, down 13 per cent from the same period last year.

Despite the drop in APE sales, new business profit rose 11 per cent, which is in line with the corresponding period last year.

Prudential attributed this to its decision to focus on higher-value protection products.

New business profit is a measure of profitability that takes into account the future value of policies expected for a certain period.

ON THE RIGHT TRACK

Our consistent strategy, rigorous execution and tight focus on the needs of our customers have ensured that we continue to deliver profitable growth and increased cash generation.

MR MIKE WELLS, Prudential group chief executive

On a group basis, the insurer recorded 17 per cent growth in operating profit to £1.88 billion in the first half, boosted by strong performan-ces from its business units.

During the same period, new business profit grew to £1.19 billion, up 12 per cent.

Calling it a "strong, broad-based performance", group chief executive Mike Wells said it has seen good returns from its principal units.

"Our consistent strategy, rigorous execution and tight focus on the needs of our customers have ensured that we continue to deliver profitable growth and increased cash generation," he added.

Asia delivered a strong performance with operating profit up 17 per cent at £632 million, driven by 15 per cent growth in its life businesses and a 35 per cent rise in Eastspring Investments, its Asia asset management businesses.

Mr Wells said that in Asia, Prudential is focused on meeting the protection and savings needs of the growing middle classes through its agency force and bank partnerships. Profit from new business in life insurance in the region was up 30 per cent at £664 million, reflecting a 31 per cent rise in APE sales.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 12, 2015, with the headline 'Sales down, profit up for Prudential'. Print Edition | Subscribe