UK's Prudential plc's adjusted operating profit from Asia insurance operations stood at $2,993m, growing by 14%, with Hong Kong up by 24% to $734m, demonstrating the resilience of the insurer's business.
Prudential's group adjusted operating profit from continuing operations reached $5,310m in 2019, up 20% from the previous year.
The insurer disclosed these results in its 2019 full-year financial statements. The term “Adjusted operating profit” refers to adjusted IFRS operating profit based on longer-term investment returns from continuing operations.
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Mr Mike Wells, Prudential's group chief executive, said: “We have delivered another positive performance during 2019, despite significant macroeconomic and geopolitical volatility. Our clear strategy and strong execution have enabled us both to deliver profitable growth and to position ourselves for further growth into the future.
“In Asia, we are focused on growth opportunities. We are building the long-term value of our fast-growing franchise by deepening our strong relationships with existing customers and by acquiring new customer relationships. We are continuing to strengthen our agency and bank channels in Asia, and harnessing the opportunities of digital technology, including Pulse by Prudential, our new end-to-end digital health app. We see continuing opportunities for selective inorganic investment.
“Outside Hong Kong, we delivered a 17% increase in APE sales and a 29% rise in new business profit. This includes China where APE sales were up by 53%. Fewer visitors from mainland China caused a fall in total Hong Kong APE sales by 11% and a fall in new business profit of 12%.”
APE sales is a measure of new business activity that comprises the aggregate of annualised regular premiums and one-tenth of single premiums on new business written during the year for all insurance products.
Mr Wells said that the coronavirus outbreak has slowed economic activity and dampened sales momentum in Hong Kong and China. Given these conditions, lower levels of new sales activity in affected markets are to be expected with a consequential effect on new business profit.
“Our in-force business is proving robust. The broad geographic spread of our business across the region and the strength of our recurring premium business model lends considerable resilience to our earnings,” he added.
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