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Rising annuity sales drive new business surge at Pru

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    Prudential’s new business profit for the third quarter of 2012 was up 56 per cent year-on-year, boosted in part by higher annuity sales figures, according to the company’s third quarter results.

    In the company’s interim management statement, published this morning (14 November), Prudential reported new business profit for the UK of £75m for Q3 2012, compared to £48m in Q3 2011. Year-to-date figures were also positive, reaching £227m compared to £194m the previous year.

    Total annual premium equivalent sales were £617m, 8 per cent higher than the first nine months of 2011. The company has said this was mostly due to higher sales of individual annuities, with-profits bonds and a bulk annuity sale.

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    New business profit was £227m for the first nine months of 2012, an increase of 17 per cent over 2011, which the company said was driven by “higher sales and a more favourable product mix”.

    The negative impact on product margins of lower interest rates was more than offset by this favourable business mix, with lower sales of corporate pensions and higher sales of individual annuities, with-profits bonds and bulk annuities which have a higher margin, the firm added.

    Tidjane Thiam, group chief executive of Prudential, said: “The global macroeconomic environment remains challenging with persistently low government bond yields and recently we have also seen the [International Monetary Fund] downgrade global growth forecasts.

    “Although we remain defensively positioned, we are focused on the long-term profitable growth opportunities available to us, particularly in south-east Asia.”

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