Shares in Prudential (LON:PRU) have inched marginally higher in London this morning as the blue-chip group updated investors on its half-year performance, posting a rise in profits. The company, which is in the process of demerging its UK business, has continued to benefit from strong results in Asia.
As of 10:15 BST, Prudential’s share price had added 0.11 percent to 1,759.50p, marginally underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.37 percent higher at 7,747.29 points. The Pru’s shares have lost more than six percent of their value over the past year, as compared with more than a two-percent rise in the Footsie.
The Pru delivers rise in profits
Prudential announced in a mid-morning statement that its IFRS operating profit had climbed nine percent to £2.41 billion. The result came in ahead of the average estimate of £2.24 billion from four analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
The FTSE 100 group further reported Asia new business profit of £1.22 billion, marking an 11-percent rise year-on-year, with IFRS operating profit up 14 percent to £1.02 billion.
“We have made a good start to 2018,” the Pru’s chief executive Mike Wells commented in the statement, adding that the group had delivered double-digit growth across its key metrics of new business profit in Asia.
UK business demerger update
The Pru further noted that its planned demerger of its M&G Prudential business from the group was progressing well.
“We have mobilised our internal teams for delivery, positively engaged with external stakeholders and we are making good progress,” Wells pointed out. Bloomberg meanwhile noted in its coverage of the news that the demerger was unlikely to happen before the Pru completes its sale of £12-billion of annuities to Rothesay Life.