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Pru corporate pension sales boost for profits

Prudential increased its interim dividend by 20 per cent to 7.95p per share in the first half of this year as UK operating profits rose by 7 per cent to £353m from £330m in the first six months of 2010.

Its UK performance was driven by a 20 per cent surge in corporate pension business from £123m to £147m.

But individual pension sales, including income drawdown, dropped by 3 per cent from £41m to £40m. Individual annuity sales fell by 23 per cent from £112m to £86m.

Group chief executive Tidjane Thiam says: “We have reported another good performance in the first half of 2011, Our UK business is performing in line with our strategy, balancing writing new business with generating cash and preserving capital.”

In its interim report last year, Pru set out plans to cut costs by £75m by 2013. It says it is making “good progress” towards meeting this target.

UK chief executive Rob Devey says: “We have produced a very solid set of first-half results on the back of a good year in 2010. We have seen annuity sales come down but that is principally because we lost a partnership agreement at the end of last year. We are making good progress in meeting our savings target. There were some pretty big changes, including the closure of our lifetime mortgages business in 2009. I would not expect any other areas of the business to close as part of the programme.”

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