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Prudential Q1 new business profit rises

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British insurer Prudential on Thursday reported a 5 per cent rise in IFRS operating profit for the first half of 2017 to £2.4 billion (S$4.25 billion) on a constant exchange rate basis, lifted by strong growth in Asia.

[LONDON] British insurer Prudential reported a 25 per cent rise in first-quarter new business profits on Thursday, driven by a strong performance in Asia, and announced the appointment of a new chief financial officer in a management reshuffle.

The company said in a statement ahead of its annual general meeting that the head of its Asian business, Tony Wilkey, is stepping down in July after more than 10 years with the firm "to pursue new challenges" and will be replaced by group CFO Nic Nicandrou.

Mark FitzPatrick, currently a managing partner at consulting firm Deloitte, has been appointed as the new CFO.

Regarding its first-quarter performance Prudential said new business profits rose to £856 million (S$1.54 billion), including a 26 per cent rise in Asia on a constant currency basis to £561 million.

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Jackson, Prudential's US business, also posted a 26 per cent rise in new business profit to £224 million, while the UK insurance arm's new business profit rose 15 per cent to £71 million.

M&G, Prudential's UK fund management arm, saw net inflows from retail and institutional investors of £3.6 billion. Total assets under management rose 4 per cent over the quarter to £275 billion.

"We see the company offering relative value, with further growth in the Asian top-line being a catalyst," analysts at KBW said in a client note, reiterating their outperform rating on the stock.

Prudential's shares were down 2.2 per cent at 1,693 pence at 0934 GMT, when the FTSE 100 index was down 1.3 per cent.