Helped by strong growth in Asia-Pacific, insurance giant Prudential Financial has reported better-than-expected Q2 results and, as a result, raised its full-year earnings target to between $4.50 and $4.60.

Net income for the company was recorded at $754 million for the second quarter of 2005, a 45.3% increase compared to $519 million from the same period in the previous year.

Prudential’s international businesses produced strong results in the quarter. The Asia-Pacific region was particularly profitable for the New Jersey-based company, with strong variable annuity sales and robust growth from its Japanese businesses bolstering profits.

Each division is contributing to our improving performance, said Prudential chairman and CEO Arthur Ryan. This quarter’s results reinforce our confidence that we are on track to achieve our goals.

According to Malaysian press sources, research shows that the Asia region, which is currently undergoing strong economic growth, has one of the highest dividend payouts in the world.

The US economy is projected to grow by 3.4% per annum this year compared with last year’s 4.4%. China’s economic growth, on the other hand, is forecast to grow by 8.9% this year alone.