Prudential has posted a 13 per cent increase in pre-tax profit for the first half of the year of £1.3bn, as profits for its UK business remain flat.
Pre-tax profit for the same period last year was £1.1bn.
Pru’s UK business reported an IFRS operating profit of £353m, which remained flat from the same period last year.
Total UK annual premium equivalent sales for the first half of the year were up 1 per cent from £409m to £412m.
UK new business profit rose 4 per cent from £146m to £152m, including a £27m single bulk annuity buy-in insurance agreement.
Individual annuity sales were up 22 per cent at £105m, made up of internal vesting sales of £66m and external annuity sales of £39m. Pru says external annuity sales were up 30 per cent on last year, which was mainly due to an increase in with-profit annuity sales by advisers.
Onshore bond sales were 26 per cent to £106m, including with-profits bonds sales of £99m.
Corporate pensions sales fell 29 per cent to £104m, which Pru attributes to high levels of defined contribution members joining Pru schemes last year.
Other product sales including individual pensions, PruProtect and PruHealth products and offshore bonds rose 9 per cent to £70m. Individual pensions, including income drawdown, accounted for the bulk of this at £44m, up 10 per cent from the same period last year.
Pru’s asset management arm M&G recorded a 69 per cent increase in net inflows to £4.9bn in the first half of 2012. The figure is up on the £2.9bn recorded in the first half of 2011 with net retail sales accounting for £4.3bn of inflows.”
Pru group chief executive Tidjane Thiam (pictured) says: “Our UK business has delivered a good performance, with IFRS operating profit remaining flat at £353m. We continue to focus on the lines of business where we have a clear competitive advantage, namely annuities and with-profits, and are maintaining our selective approach to the bulk annuity market.
“In asset management M&G has delivered a particularly good performance in a difficult investment market.”