The Asia business logged a 14% rise in its total operating profit to £1.2bn.
Mike Wells, group chief executive of Prudential, said: “The group’s performance has again been driven by our Asian business, where we have delivered double-digit growth across our key metrics of operating profit.
“Our focus on key areas of operational improvement and continued investment has enabled us to drive growth and position ourselves to continue to grow profitably.”
Operating profit from life insurance operations in Asia increased by 14% to £1.1bn, which was due to the “continued growth of our in-force book of recurring premium business”.
New business profit in Asia rose 10% over the six months to end-June, while assets under management at its Asia-focused fund unit Eastspring grew 12% to £169.5bn.
Overall, new life insurance business increased by 5% to £2.8bn, but life insurance new business profit was down 2% to £1.64bn, “driven in part by lower interest rates”.
Wells added: “We are benefiting from growing demand for health, protection and savings across the region and we are constantly improving our access to this demand by innovating in new value-added services, distribution and digitalisation of the customer journey.
“We recently passed another key milestone through the first launch of our new holistic health management app, Pulse by Prudential, in Malaysia, which will be followed by a wider roll-out across the region.”
The firm also said it was “carefully monitoring” the situation in Hong Kong, which has been rife with protests.
The firm confirmed that it expects to complete the demerger of M&GPrudential from Prudential in the fourth quarter of 2019.
As an independent company, M&G will have a single corporate identity and will continue with two customer-facing brands:
- Prudential for savings and insurance customers in the UK and Europe and for asset management in South Africa; and
- M&G Investments for asset management clients globally
Details of the M&G corporate identity will be soon. In the meantime, the business will continue to use M&GPrudential as its corporate name.
Wells added: “We expect to complete the demerger of M&GPrudential in the fourth quarter of 2019, and preparations are complete for Prudential plc’s move to group-wide supervision by the Hong Kong Insurance Authority.
“We believe that the demerger will enable both businesses to maximise their potential performance.
“Both will have experienced management teams better able to focus on their strategic priorities and distinct investment prospects, as well as improved allocation of resources and greater flexibility in execution.”
M&GPrudential operating profit, before restructuring costs, decreased by 8% at £716m.
Life insurance operating profit increased by 2% to £496m (2018: £487m).