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Pru reveals tough year in the UK market

The Prudential has announced a 27 per cent drop in group wide operating profit for 2003 at the same time as some UK with-profits policyholders see a drop in their regular bonuses.

Annual bonus rates on its Prudence bond were announced last month to remain unchanged, but the insurer has now revealed that personal pensions will take a cut to 3.25 per cent from 3.5 per cent.

With-profits endowment bonuses remain unchanged.
Its full year results show an operating profit of £794m down 27 per cent in 2003 from £1.1bn in the year previous. This was dragged down by a tough UK market, with total sales in the UK and European insurance operations dropping 21 per cent to £616m from £780m in 2002.

The UK life fund free asset ratio rose to 10.5 per cent at the end of 2003 from 8.4 per cent at the end of 2002.

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