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Prudential raises dividend after surge in pre-tax profit

Prudential increased its full-year dividend by 15.9 per cent to 29.19p per share as it reported a sharp increase in total profit before tax supported by surging business in Asia over the full year 2012.

Prudential increased its full-year dividend by 15.9 per cent to 29.19p per share as it reported a sharp increase in total profit before tax supported by surging business in Asia over the full year 2012.

Total profit before tax increased by 54% to £2.8bn, operating profit rose 25% to £2.5bn and shareholder funds climbed 21% to £10.4bn.

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Over the course of the year, the group exceeded two of its "Growth and Cash" objectives for Asia.

In 2010, Prudential had outlined a strategy to more than double Asia's 2009 IFRS operating profit from £465m to £930m by full year 2013. In fact, it delivered £988m in 2012 and exceeded Asia's 2013 cash target of £300m.

More than 1.0m new customers were added in Asia, while in the US Prudential sold more than 200,000 new policies.

CEO: Asia 'sweet-spot' markets drive businessTidjane Thiam, Group Chief Executive of Prudential, commented: "Our focus on capital and risk management has allowed us to deliver both growth and cash to shareholders, despite a challenging macroeconomic environment.

"Our business in Asia has continued to demonstrate the benefits of both its scale and its diversification, by growing strongly on each of our three key performance metrics: new business profit, IFRS operating profit and cash," he added.

"This performance has been largely driven by our 'sweet-spot' markets including Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand. Asia's net cash remittance of £341m, an increase of 66% on the prior year, made it, for the first time, the largest contributor of cash to the group. To put this into context, in 2009 Asia's net cash remittance was £40m."

Prudential's share price was up 2.14% to 1,051p at 08:52 on Wednesday.

MF

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