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Prudential PLC operating profit up YOY in FY'18 on higher Asia results

Prudential PLC reported operating profit of £4.83 billion in 2018, up from £4.70 billion in 2017, driven by a 14% increase in operating profit from Asia life insurance and asset management businesses.

Total operating profit at Jackson National Life Insurance Co., Prudential's U.S.-based subsidiary, was 11% lower, with higher fee income outweighed by an increase in market-related deferred acquisition costs amortization expense and the anticipated reduction in spread earnings.

In the U.K. and Europe, M&G Prudential's total operating profit was 19% higher than the prior year, which principally reflects the benefit from updated longevity assumptions and an 11% increase in the shareholder transfer from the with-profits business, which includes a 30% increase from PruFund.

IFRS after-tax profit rose year over year to £3.01 billion from £2.39 billion.

As of Dec. 31, 2018, Group Solvency II surplus was estimated at £17.2 billion, equivalent to a cover ratio of 232%.

Prudential announced a full-year 2018 ordinary dividend of 49.35 pence per share, up 5%.

The company is also acquiring a majority stake in African life insurer Group Beneficial, subject to various conditions and regulatory approvals.

Group Beneficial serves more than 300,000 customers through 41 branches.