Leading UK life insurer Prudential has announced a 31% rise in first-half profits, beating forecasts and analyst expectations.

Growth was due in part to Prudential’s strong performance in its UK, US and Asian businesses.

Operating profit for the six months to June 30 was GBP834 million and overall the company generated sales of GBP1.13 billon, a 34% percent increase on the annual premium equivalent.

Prudential also announced a 50% rise in UK sales assisted in part by the acquisition of Phoenix Life and pensions.UK profits were down, however, by 24% to GBP182 million due to a GBP132 million charge for customers who had surrendered some policies earlier than expected, the insurer said.

Prudential’s US sales were up by 18% with margins rising from 34% to 37%, while Asia also saw a strong sales growth of 26% in H1 but margins were damaged because Prudential has sold policies in poorer countries.

In announcing its results, Prudential resisted revealing any future strategies:
The businesses are performing well, commented new CEO Mark Tucker, With this in mind, I have no intention of charging in and making dramatic changes. That is neither my style nor my intention.