Prudential boasts stellar growth fueled by Asia focus

Prudential hails 'relentless execution' as profits soar across Asia and Africa.

Prudential boasts stellar growth fueled by Asia focus
Prudential PRU

Prudential (LSE: PRU) has unveiled a stellar performance for 2023, propelled by a laser-sharp focus on Asia and Africa that yielded soaring profits and new business.

The insurance giant's annual premium equivalent (APE) sales, a key measure of new policies sold, skyrocketed 34% to $5.88 billion, matching market expectations.

The standout performance was fueled by a remarkable surge in Hong Kong, where APE sales nearly quadrupled to $1.97 billion from just $522 million in 2022, buoyed by the lifting of pandemic curbs and the reopening of the Chinese border. New business profit followed suit, leaping 43% to $3.13 billion, exceeding consensus forecasts.

Despite the shares dipping at the London open on Wednesday, Prudential's adjusted operating profit climbed to $2.89 billion, nudging past estimates of $2.88 billion. The company's total insurance revenue for 2023 climbed 9.6% to $9.37 billion, while it swung to a pretax profit of $2.10 billion from a prior loss.

"We delivered an excellent financial and operational performance in 2023 and deployed increased levels of capital in new business, enhancing core capabilities and expanding distribution," beamed Chief Executive Anil Wadhwani, expressing confidence in achieving the company's ambitious 2027 targets.

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