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BRITISH-BASED insurer Prudential plc on Wednesday posted a 15.3 per cent rise in profit attributable to shareholders for its fiscal year 2015, to £2.6 billion (S$5.07 billion), on a constant exchange rate basis.
It declared a full-year dividend of 38.78 pence a share, up 5 per cent year on year, and also announced a special dividend of 10 pence a share.
For the full year, group operating profit rose 21.8 per cent to £4 billion, lifted by growth of its long-term businesses in Asia, the United States and the United Kingdom.
New business profit climbed 20.3 per cent to £2.6 billion.
New business sales for the year grew 17.4 per cent to £5.6 billion in 2015.
The group's chief executive, Mike Wells, said the insurer continued to grow across its key metrics, despite the macroeconomic uncertainty and challenges presented by low long-term interest rates.
He noted the results "represent good progress towards the 2017 growth and cash objectives", set out in December 2013.
As for its Asia business, Mr Wells said the portfolio remains focused on serving the protection and investment needs of the growing middle classes in the region, through its agency force and bank partnerships.
In Singapore, Prudential said it continues to lead the market for regular premium products with a market share of 23 per cent. It also has the largest agency force here, overtaking rival AIA Singapore.
"During 2015, we have focused on growing regular premium agency-sourced protection sales, which has enhanced the mix of business and contributed to a 7 per cent increase in new business profit through this channel. Reflecting our pro-active de-emphasis of universal life sales, and the effect of cessation of distribution relationships with Maybank and Singpost, total new business sales were 13 per cent lower in 2015," the group said.
Amendment: An earlier version of this story said that group operating profit had risen 22.8 per cent. It had actually risen 21.8 per cent.