01 Aug 2007

Prudential plc 2007 Interim Results

  • Total EEV operating profit on continuing operations £1,326 million, up 39%
  • Total IFRS operating profit from continuing operations £601 million, up 27%
  • New business APE £1,334 million, up 12%; PVNBP £9.7 billion, up 4%
  • New business profit £534 million, up 12%
  • Asset management profit £180 million, up 45%
  • EEV shareholders’ funds £13.4 billion, up 13% (end 2006 £11.9 billion*)
  • Interim dividend 5.7 pence per share, up 5% (2006: 5.42 pence per share)

All figures compared to 2006 constant exchange rates unless stated, *at reported exchange rates

Commenting, Mark Tucker, Group Chief Executive said:

"The growth in operating profit of 39 per cent in the first half of the year demonstrates the clear and continued momentum that we have within the Group. It builds on the very strong operating performance in both 2005 and 2006 when we grew operating profit by 36 per cent and 28 per cent respectively.

"Our strategy is focused on the growing global market for retirement savings and income and our advantaged regional platforms and global capabilities place the Group in an excellent and immensely strong position to capture a disproportionate share of this opportunity.

"In Asia, growth across the region continues to be strong, with new business up 48 per cent to £619 million APE, and new business profit up 31 per cent to £282 million. These strong first half results, and the continuing development of our operations in the region, mean that we are very confident that we will achieve our target of at least doubling 2005 EEV new business profits by 2009.

"In the US, we have one of the fastest growing variable annuity franchises in the market - VA sales grew by 31 per cent in the first half to £2.2 billion, continuing to gain profitable market share.

"In the UK, retail sales grew by 10 per cent in the first half of the year, while our focus on value has kept margins on new business in the UK at 30 per cent which remain high compared to the overall UK market. The Internal Rate of Return (IRR) was 15 per cent against our target of 14 per cent.

"Our asset management businesses saw v ery strong growth in operating profit, with M&G and Asia fund management up 40 per cent and 65 per cent respectively. Retail net sales at M&G surpassed last year’s record half-year net flows and in Asia net flows remained strong at £1.7 billion, with a number of successful fund launches in Taiwan and Korea, as well as ongoing strong net sales in India and Japan.

"The Group is extremely well placed to continue to deliver real long-term sustainable profit growth for shareholders.”

Group Chief Executive’s Review

Introduction

The Group has today announced a strong set of results.

Prudential’s performance in the first half of the year demonstrates the real shareholder value that we are delivering through consistent implementation of our retirement-focused strategy. This strategy is generating both continued excellent results and creating substantial longer term opportunities from our advantaged regional platforms and global capabilities.

Capturing the Retirement Opportunity

Developments in the global retirement market represent one of the most significant and important global trends in retail financial services. In the UK and US alone, it is estimated that over the next five years, as much as £7 trillion of assets will be available for investment into the retirement savings and retirement income market sectors. In Asia, the retirement opportunity is also expanding rapidly driven by rising incomes, increasing longevity, and a growing realisation among individuals of the need to save for retirement and to protect their income.

Prudential’s strategy focuses on capturing the ever-increasing revenue and value from these material opportunities.

Prudential is well positioned – Capabilities and Geographic Coverage

While many financial institutions are moving to capture this opportunity, Prudential has an outstanding combination of assets and capabilities to succeed:

  • Sophisticated risk management
  • Integrated solutions to address retirement needs
  • Privileged access to retirement advisers
  • Trusted brands which are strongly associated with retirement
  • Financial strength and reliability
  • Geographic reach

Moreover, Prudential has the additional advantage of being able to draw on expertise and experience across international frontiers to advance product innovation, distribution and the quality of customer service. These initiatives transfer learning and value from one business to another, creating competitive advantage above and beyond what each could individually achieve.

Group Performance

The operating performance of the Group was again very strong in the first half of 2007. Group operating profit before tax from continuing operations, on the European Embedded Value basis (EEV), was up 39 per cent, to £1,326 million building on the momentum established in 2005 and 2006. On the statutory IFRS basis, operating profit before tax on continuing operations was up 27 per cent to £601 million.

The Group had a positive cashflow from operations in the period to 30 June 2007. The benefit of a significant increase in the uptake of the scrip dividend helped to achieve this. Our expectation remains that operations will provide a positive cash flow in the 2008 full year.

The Group’s cash balances also benefited by £527 million from the sale of Egg. In addition, the already robust regulatory capital surplus of the Group was improved by around £300 million from the sale of this business.

Regional Performance

As outlined earlier, Prudential’s operations in Asia, the US and the UK are all well-positioned to capitalise on the retirement opportunity, and each has specific strategies in place to build on and strengthen our established market positions.

Performance in all of our regional markets over the first half has been strong, indicating that our approach to the market is delivering material financial benefits.

Asia

Prudential’s geographic spread in Asia, the strength and scale of our distribution, and the recognition of and trust in the Prudential brand in the region, continue to be key differentiating factors for the Group.

Agent numbers have reached 350,000 and at the same time, almost 30 per cent of new business is being derived from non-agency sources.

In addition to capitalising on and further building these strengths, we are increasing the focus on the fast emerging retirement opportunity by developing and providing integrated protection and savings solutions to meet consumers’ increasingly sophisticated needs.

Work is progressing well on our initiatives to deepen our Health business and we are putting in place the infrastructure to facilitate greater cross-selling and up-selling to our established customer base of some 8.5 million in the region.

Growth across the region continues to be strong, with new business up 48 per cent to £619 million APE in the half year. Compound annual growth in APE over the last five years is 29 per cent. New business profit was up 31 per cent to £282 million.

A significant contributor to this growth was the "What’s my number?” retirement campaign which has already seen great success in Korea and Hong Kong, and was rolled out to Taiwan at the end of April. As a result, new business in Taiwan in the second quarter was £106 million APE and half year new business was up 103 per cent. We will continue to identify other opportunities in retirement across the region.

We are also making good progress in two additional areas; firstly we are developing a regionwide infrastructure to support our approach to develop systematic cross-selling and up-selling to our 8.5 million customers, with plans already in place in three markets and with the first pilots due to begin later this year. Secondly, on health products we saw a 62 per cent increase in the first half. We launched a new product in Singapore in the second quarter and we have recently launched a new product in India.

These strong first half results, and the continuing development of our operations in the region, mean that we are very confident that we will achieve our target of at least doubling 2005 EEV new business profits by 2009. The outlook beyond 2009 also remains very positive.

US

In the US, our long-term strategy has been to position Jackson to meet the retirement needs of the baby boomer generation pre and post retirement. We recognised early on the central role of advice as the key source of success in this market and Jackson has developed a very effective and hard to replicate business model, with particular success in the independent broker channel – the key channel for advice.

The Jackson brand is trusted to provide integrated retirement planning solutions to financial professionals and their clients, including variable annuity products that provide the most flexibility and customisation in the industry.

We are continuing to develop our variable annuity offering, adding a number of new guaranteed minimum withdrawal benefits and a new guaranteed minimum accumulation benefit. The total number of benefit combinations available is now in excess of 2,100.

At Curian, our separately managed account platform, we also recently launched a new proposal system which cuts the time required to open a separately managed account by a factor of three. This is just one example of how we continue to leverage Jackson's superior technological capabilities to enhance our efficiency and effectiveness.

We have also continued to add to Jackson’s distribution strength, increasing the number of external wholesalers by 30 per cent. Over the last two years, Jackson’s wholesaling force has been one of the fastest growing in the market whilst still growing productivity per producer and sales per territory. This increase in numbers of wholesalers will allow us to take an even more granular approach to our segmentation of the market.

Today, Jackson is already one of the fastest growing variable annuity franchises in the market. Variable annuity sales grew by 31 per cent in the first half to £2.2 billion, continuing to gain profitable market share. Our market share of variable annuities reached 5.1 per cent at the end of the first quarter, compared to 4.2 per cent in the first quarter of 2006, and share in the main target Independent Broker Dealer channel was 11.7 per cent, up from 10.4 per cent in the first quarter of 2006.

Overall margins on new business in the US remained strong at 41 per cent (2006: 41 per cent) with an IRR of 18 per cent.

UK

In the UK, our manufacturing capabilities in the retirement space, combined with the Prudential brand - which is strongest among pre and post retirement age groups - provides an excellent platform from which to develop the business.

In line with our stated plans we are exiting those product areas that are structurally uneconomic and we are developing a new range of trail-based commission products centred on the multi-asset investment capabilities. Our new unit-linked product, for instance, will be launched later this month.

To further strengthen our distribution, we have entered into an agreement with Barclays to be the preferred provider of conventional annuity products to retail customers of Barclays in the UK. This is a five-year agreement which will take effect from later in 2007.

UK retail sales grew by 10 per cent in the first half of the year. Momentum is particularly strong in individual annuities, up 23 per cent, a market segment in which we are a clear leader with 23 per cent market share in 2006. This is a high growth, high return sector of the market where Prudential benefits from significant and recurring internal flows of maturing pensions as well as flows from both new and existing partnerships. All of this, combined with sophisticated risk management and competitive pricing, is enabling us to deliver good returns to shareholders.

In the bulk annuity market we reached an agreement in principle to acquire Equitable Life’s portfolio of in-force with-profits annuities, now estimated at around £1.7 billion. This transaction remains on track to complete in the fourth quarter and on its own represents almost 20 per cent growth on the bulk annuities written by our UK business in the whole of 2006. We will continue to exercise pricing discipline in this market, and to pursue specific opportunities which play to our distinctive capabilities.

Margins on new business in the UK of 30 per cent (2006: 29 per cent) remain high compared to the overall UK market and the Internal Rate of Return (IRR) was 15 per cent against our target of 14 per cent. This represents an attractive return in both absolute and relative terms.

We remain confident of achieving our already-announced cost savings target of £195 million by 2010. By the end of 2007 we will have taken all of the actions to secure £115 million of the announced savings, and we are making good progress in determining the approach we will take to deliver the remaining £80 million, whether that is through offshoring, outsourcing or a combination of the two. We are on track to confirm our final decision by the middle of the fourth quarter this year.

Prudential’s main with-profit fund in the UK was the top performing life fund in 2006 in terms of gross investment return ranking first, in the WM Company’s survey of with-profit funds, over 1, 3, 5 and 10 years - an outstanding performance. Investment performance has remained strong in the first half of 2007.

Our work on the Inherited Estate is progressing well and as previously disclosed, if a decision is taken to proceed, a formal appointment of the Policyholder Advocate could be expected to take place later this year. We will only proceed if there are clear benefits to both policyholders and shareholders.

Asset Management

Our asset management businesses continue to both add value to our insurance operations as well as growing their external funds under management.

Key to this is our ability to develop retirement savings and retirement income products based on sophisticated asset allocation strategies which match customers’ risk profiles and strong investment performance.

This is clearly evidenced in the UK, where our strength in the with-profits business – both bonds and annuities – has been driven by our multi-asset allocation capabilities which can deliver the kind of cautious growth that customers want. In the US, these capabilities enable us to deliver our fully unbundled variable annuity proposition.

These capabilities also position us well in the emerging area of lifecycle finance where we can create products that adapt to consumers changing circumstances, risk appetites, and needs over different stages of the retirement cycle. These products need to be underpinned by adaptable and creative asset management.

Across the Group’s asset management businesses net inflows were £5 billion and at similar levels to those achieved in the first half of 2006. Retail net sales at M&G surpassed last year’s record half-year net flows and in Asia net flows remained strong at £1.7 billion, with a number of successful fund launches in Taiwan and Korea, plus ongoing strong net sales in India and Japan. External funds under management increased to £63 billion.

This is contributing to very strong growth in operating profit from these businesses, with M&G and Asia fund management up 40 per cent and 65 per cent respectively.

Capital Efficiency

Prudential benefits from greater capital efficiency and an increased risk appetite by actively managing its product and geographic diversification. Prudential’s economic capital modelling indicates that the capital requirements of the businesses on a stand-alone basis would be £1.3 billion higher than for the Group as a whole, as at 31 December 2006.

While the dialogue with both regulators and rating agencies continues to develop, for example over the draft Solvency II Directive, it is already clear that in future there will be material and enduring opportunities for greater regulatory capital efficiency within broader-based groups.

Outlook

In summary:

  • Our strategy is focused on the growing global market for retirement savings and retirement income
  • Our advantaged regional platforms and our global capabilities place the Group in a strong position to capture a disproportionate share of the retirement opportunity around the world
  • Delivery of that strategy is generating continuing excellent short-term operating performance both in the regions and at the Group level, which in turn is creating superior shareholder value
  • Our diversified geographic footprint across three regions provides a strong and operationally efficient base for future growth
  • Prudential is extremely well placed to deliver real long-term sustainable profit growth for its shareholders

ENDS

Enquiries:
Media Investors/Analysts
Jon Bunn 020 7548 3559 James Matthews 020 7548 3561
Carole Butcher 020 7548 3719 Marina Novis 020 7548 3511

Notes to Editor:

1. The results in this announcement are prepared on two bases, namely International Financial Reporting Standards ('IFRS') and the European Embedded Value ('EEV') basis. The IFRS basis results form the basis of the Group's financial statements.

The EEV basis results have been prepared in accordance with the principles issued by the CFO Forum of European Insurance Companies in May 2004. Where appropriate the EEV basis results include the effects of IFRS.

References to ‘operating profit’ in this announcement are to operating profit based on longer-term investment returns. Consistent with previous reporting practice the Group analyses its EEV basis results, and provides supplementary analysis of IFRS profit before tax attributable to shareholders, so as to distinguish operating profit based on longer-term investment returns from other constituent elements of total profit. On both the EEV and IFRS bases operating profit based on longer-term investment returns excludes goodwill impairment charges, short-term fluctuations in investment returns and the shareholders’ share of actuarial and other gains and losses on defined benefit pension schemes. Under the EEV basis, where additional profit and loss effects arise, operating profits based on longer-term investment returns also excludes the mark to market value movement in core borrowings, the effect of changes in economic assumptions, and changes in the time value of the cost of options and guarantees arising from changes in economic factors.

‘PVNBP’ refers to the Present Value of New Business Premiums. PVNBPs are calculated as equalling new single premiums plus the present value of expected premiums of new regular premium business. In determining the present value, allowance is made for lapses and other assumptions applied in determining the EEV new business profit.

Period on period percentage increases are stated on a constant exchange rate basis.

2. Annual premium equivalent (APE) sales comprise regular premium sales plus one-tenth of single premium insurance sales.

3.The internal rate of return (IRR) is equivalent to the discount rate at which the present value of the post-tax cash flows expected to be earned over the life time of the business written in shareholder-backed life funds is equal to the total invested capital to support the writing of the business. The capital included in the calculation of the IRR is the initial capital in excess of the premiums received required to pay acquisition costs and set up the statutory capital requirement. The time value of options and guarantees are included in the calculation.

4.There will be a conference call today for wire services at 7.30am (BST) hosted by Mark Tucker, Group Chief Executive and Philip Broadley, Group Finance Director. Dial in telephone number: +44 (0)20 8609 0793. Passcode: 155439#.

5. A presentation to analysts will take place at 9.30am (BST) at Governor’s House, Laurence Pountney Hill, London, EC4R 0HH. An audio cast of the presentation and the presentation slides will be available on the Group’s website, www.prudential.co.uk.

6. There will be a conference call for investors and analysts at 2.30pm (BST) hosted by Mark Tucker, Group Chief Executive and Philip Broadley, Group Finance Director. Please call from the UK +44 (0)20 8609 0793 and from the US +1 866 793 4279. Passcode 487687#. A recording of this call will be available for replay for one week by dialling: +44 (0)20 8609 0289 from the UK or +1 866 676 5865 from the US. The conference passcode is 160473#.

7. High resolution photographs are available to the media free of charge at www.newscast.co.uk +44 (0) 208 886 5895.

8. An interview with Mark Tucker, Group Chief Executive, (in video/audio/text) will be available on www.cantos.com and www.prudential.co.uk from 7.00am on 1 August 2007.

9. Financial Calendar 2007:

Ex-dividend date 15 August 2007
Record Date 17 August 2007
Payment of interim dividend 24 September 2007
Third Quarter 2007 New Business Figures 18 October 2007
Full Year 2007 New Business Figures 29 January 2008
Full Year 2007 results 14 March 2008

10. In addition to the financial statements provided with this press release, additional financial schedules are available on the Group’s website at www.prudential.co.uk.

11. Total number of Prudential plc shares in issue as at 30 June 2007 was 2,460,159,970.

About Prudential

Prudential plc is a company incorporated and with its principal place of business in England, and its affiliated companies constitute one of the world's leading financial services groups. It provides insurance and financial services directly and through its subsidiaries and affiliates throughout the world. It has been in existence for over 150 years and has £256 billion in assets under management as at 30 June 2007. Prudential plc is not affiliated in any manner with Prudential Financial, Inc, a company whose principal place of business is in the United States of America.

Forward-Looking Statements

This statement may contain certain "forward-looking statements” with respect to certain of Prudential's plans and its current goals and expectations relating to its future financial condition, performance, results, strategy and objectives. Statements containing the words "believes”, "intends”, "expects”, "plans”, "seeks” and "anticipates”, and words of similar meaning, are forward-looking. By their nature, all forward-looking statements involve risk and uncertainty because they relate to future events and circumstances which are beyond Prudential's control including among other things, UK domestic and global economic and business conditions, market related risks such as fluctuations in interest rates and exchange rates, and the performance of financial markets generally; the policies and actions of regulatory authorities, the impact of competition, inflation, and deflation; experience in particular with regard to mortality and morbidity trends, lapse rates and policy renewal rates; the timing, impact and other uncertainties of future acquisitions or combinations within relevant industries; and the impact of changes in capital, solvency or accounting standards, and tax and other legislation and regulations in the jurisdictions in which Prudential and its affiliates operate. This may for example result in changes to assumptions used for determining results of operations or re-estimations of reserves for future policy benefits. As a result, Prudential's actual future financial condition, performance and results may differ materially from the plans, goals, and expectations set forth in Prudential's forward-looking statements. Prudential undertakes no obligation to update the forward-looking statements contained in this statement or any other forward-looking statements it may make.

PRUDENTIAL PLC 2007 UNAUDITED INTERIM RESULTS

RESULTS SUMMARY

European Embedded Value (EEV) Basis Results*
Half Year
2007
£m
Half Year
2006
£m
Full Year
2006
£m
UK Insurance Operations 462 336 686
M&G 140 100 204
UK Operations 602 436 890
US Operations 351 350 718
Asian Operations 520 374 864
Other Income and Expenditure (147) (141) (298)
UK restructuring costs 0 (12) (41)
Operating profit from continuing operations based on longer-term investment returns* 1,326 1,007 2,133
Short-term fluctuations in investment returns 241 73 738
Mark to market movements on core borrowings 113 168 85
Shareholders' share of actuarial and other gains and losses of defined benefit pension schemes 125 246 207
Effect of changes in economic assumptions and time value of cost of options and guarantees 275 (20) 59
Profit from continuing operations before tax 2,080 1,474 3,222
Operating earnings from continuing operations per share after related tax and minority interests* 39.4p 29.3p 62.1p
Basic earnings per share 72.8p 43.8p 91.7p
Shareholders' funds, excluding minority interests £13.4bn £10.9bn £11.9bn


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International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Basis Results*
Statutory IFRS basis results Half Year
2007
Half Year
2006
Full Year
2006
Profit after tax attributable to equity holders of the Company £715m £449m £874m
Basic earnings per share 29.3p 18.7p 36.2p
Shareholders' equits, excluding minority interests £5.9bn £5.0bn £5.5bn
Supplementary IFRS basis information Half Year
2007
Half Year
2006
Full Year
2006
Operating profit from continuing operations based on longer-term investment returns* £601m £498m £1,050m
Operating earnings per share from continuing operations after related tax and minority interests* 16.3p 14.0p 30.9p



Half Year
2007
Half Year
2006
Full Year
2006
Dividends per share declared and paid in reporting period 11.72p 11.02p 16.44p
Dividends per share relating to reporting period 5.70p 5.42p 17.14p
Funds under management £256bn £238bn £251bn

* Basis of preparation

Results bases

The EEV basis results have been prepared in accordance with the European Embedded Value Principles issued by the CFO Forum of European Insurance Companies in May 2004. The basis of preparation of the statutory IFRS basis results and supplementary IFRS basis information is consistent with that applied for the 2006 full year results and financial statements.

Operating profit based on longer-term investment returns

Consistent with previous reporting practice, the Group analyses its EEV basis results and provides supplementary analysis of IFRS profit before tax attributable to shareholders, so as to distinguish operating profit based on longer-term investment returns from other constituent elements of total profit. On both the EEV and IFRS bases, operating earnings per share are calculated using operating profits from continuing operations based on longer-term investment returns, after tax and minority interests. These profits exclude short-term fluctuations in investment returns and the shareholders' share of actuarial gains and losses on defined benefit pension schemes. Under the EEV basis, where additional profit and loss effects arise, operating profit based on longer-term investment returns also excludes the mark to market value movements on core borrowings and the effect of changes in economic assumptions and changes in the time value of cost of options and guarantees arising from changes in economic factors. After adjusting for related tax and minority interests, the amounts for these items are included in the calculation of basic earnings per share.

For half year 2007, the EEV basis operating profit from continuing operations based on longer-term investment returns before tax of £1,326m includes a credit of £92m that arises from including the benefits, grossed up for notional tax, of altered corporate tax rates for the UK, Singapore and China. Further details are explained in note 7 to the EEV basis supplementary information.

Discontinued operations

The results for continuing operations shown above and throughout this announcement exclude those in respect of discontinued banking operations. On 1 May 2007, the Company sold Egg Banking plc. Accordingly, the presentation of the comparative results for half year and full year 2006 has been adjusted from those previously published.

Jackson National Life Insurance Company

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Prudential plc is an international company incorporated in the United Kingdom, and its affiliated companies constitute one of the world’s leading financial services groups. It provides insurance and financial services directly and through its subsidiaries and affiliates throughout the world, and it has been in existence for over 170 years. Prudential plc is not affiliated in any manner with Prudential Financial, Inc, a company whose principal place of business is in the United States of America, or the Prudential Assurance Company, a subsidiary of M&G plc (a company incorporated in the United Kingdom).

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Prudential plc is an international company incorporated in the United Kingdom, and its affiliated companies constitute one of the world’s leading financial services groups. It provides insurance and financial services directly and through its subsidiaries and affiliates throughout the world, and it has been in existence for over 170 years. Prudential plc is not affiliated in any manner with Prudential Financial, Inc, a company whose principal place of business is in the United States of America, or the Prudential Assurance Company, a subsidiary of M&G plc (a company incorporated in the United Kingdom).