Annual premium equivalent (APE) sales across Asia rose by 33% to £3.6bn, while the UK reported similar growth to £1.16bn.
The US decline of 10% was attributed to lower industry volumes as a result of “sector-wide disruption that followed the announcement in April 2016 of the Department of Labor’s fiduciary reform”, group chief executive Mike Wells wrote in his report.
Wells cautioned that “the implementation of which is presently uncertain under the Trump administration”.
In Asia, Prudential’s new regular and life in-force weighted premium income both increased by 20%, year-on-year.
The firm’s Asian asset manager, Eastspring, reporting overall assets under management of £117.9bn at year-end, up from £89.1bn in 2015.
Growth in the region is expected to continue based on the low insurance penetration rate, high out of pocket healthcare spend, and rapidly growing private wealth.
Wells said: “Our performance has been driven by Asia, which has delivered a seventh consecutive years of double-digit growth in new business profit. In the fourth quarter of 2016, quarterly APE sales in Asia exceeded £1bn for the first time, with eight of our markets in the region growing by more than 20%.”
Strong growth in PruFund sales saw Prudential’s retail sales surpass their pre-Retail Distribution Review (RDR) levels.
For the UK life business, Prudential’s strategy of extending customer access to PruFund’s with-profits investment option via additional product wrappers continued to drive growth in retail APE sales, which increased by 33% to £1.16bn.
The company has set aside £175m to deal with the aftermath of the FCA’s thematic review of non-advised annuity sales practices. The review showed that, in a portion of annuity sales made by the UK business since July 2008, some customers were not adequately advised that they may have been eligible for an enhanced annuity.
“We are continuing to work to ensure we put things right,” Wells said.
The fiduciary uncertainty cast a dampener on Prudential’s US results. “In the US, we are well positioned to navigate a period of significant regulatory change,” said Wells.
“The demographic shift occurring in the US is a significant long-term driver of demand for the types of product we offer.”
Wells added that the US is the largest retirement savings market in the world, and over the next 20 years Americans will be retiring at a rate of 10,000 per day.
Prudential’s US subsidiary, Jackson National Life Insurance, reported separate account assets increased by 11% to $148.8bn.
M&G’s operating profit was 4% lower at £425m. The impact of recent asset outflows from retail funds on overall funds under management was partially offset by the benefit of positive market movements, the company said.
Total assets under management reached £265bn, with AUM managed on behalf of external clients up 8% to £137bn, year-on-year.