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Prudential PLC's H1 operating profit rises YOY; board ups dividend

Prudential PLC logged operating profit from continuing operations of £2.02 billion in the first half, up from £1.67 billion a year ago due to strong performance from the Asia business.

IFRS profit after tax increased year over year to £1.54 billion from £1.36 billion.

U.S. total operating profit at £1.22 billion increased by 14%. Broadly stable fee income was supported by favorable deferred acquisition costs deceleration compared with unfavorable deferred acquisition costs acceleration in the prior period, the company said.

The Asia business' total operating profit of £1.20 billion was 14% higher than the prior year. Operating profit from life insurance operations increased by 14% to £1.10 billion, reflecting the continued growth of the company's in-force book of recurring premium business, with renewal insurance premiums up 12% to £7.10 billion.

In the U.K. and Europe, M&G Prudential's operating profit, before restructuring costs, was 8% lower at £716 million. Life insurance operating profit increased by 2% to £496 million.

As of June 30, Group Solvency II surplus was estimated at £16.7 billion, equivalent to a cover ratio of 222%.

The board increased the first interim ordinary dividend to 16.45 pence per share from 15.67 pence per share a year ago.

The company expects to complete the demerger of M&G Prudential in the fourth quarter. M&G Prudential has been classified as discontinued operations.