(Reuters) - British life insurer Prudential Plc <PRU.L> reported higher new-business profit across businesses for the first nine months of the year as it saw opportunities in its three key markets - Asia, the United States, and the UK and Europe.
New-business profit for the group rose 17 percent to 2.47 billion pounds from a year earlier, driven by higher sales and favourable economics, Prudential said on Thursday in a business performance update ahead of an investor day.
Prudential saw opportunities from the rapidly growing middle class in Asia, retirement needs of the baby boomers in the United States and the life assurance and savings markets in the UK and Europe, Chief Executive Mike Wells said.
In asset management, combined third-party retail and institutional net inflows were 12.8 billion pounds, with both M&G Prudential and Eastspring delivering positive performances, Prudential said.
Gross annual premium equivalent (APE) sales, which include regular premium sales plus one-tenth of single premium insurance sales, rose to 5.17 billion pounds, from 4.47 billion pounds a year earlier.
In Asia, new-business profit rose 15 percent to 1.61 billion pounds in the period, driven in part by higher sales volumes and a boost from higher interest rates.
Prudential, which has been focussing on Asia in recent years, said seven countries including China, Hong Kong and Singapore clocked double-digit growth.
In the United States, where Prudential operates through its unit Jackson, new-business profit rose 28 percent on an actual exchange rate basis to 619 million pounds, driven by higher interest rates.
Prudential estimated that its shareholder Solvency II surplus at the end of September was 12.8 billion pounds, up from 12.5 billion pounds at the end of December. The insurer's cover ratio was stable at 201 percent.
(Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru and Carolyn Cohn in London; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier and Amrutha Gayathri)