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    PRU   GB0007099541

PRUDENTIAL PLC

(PRU)
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Prudential's U.S. spin-off plan on track as Asia drives profit rise

03/03/2021 | 04:24am EDT

* Group operating profit above forecast at $5.5 bln

* Asia profit up 13% and U.S. business down 9%

* Equity raise could include Hong Kong public share sale

* Sees potential for rapid growth in Myanmar

LONDON, March 3 (Reuters) - British insurer Prudential expects to split off its U.S. business in the second quarter, it said on Wednesday as it posted a 4% rise in full-year operating profit on the back of strength in Asia.

Prudential, which has been pressed by activist investor Third Point to split the business in two, said in January that it would separate U.S. unit Jackson through a demerger and could raise up to $3 billion in new equity.

The life insurer on Wednesday said that it is making "good progress" with the plans, adding that its preferred option for the capital increase is a global offering to institutional investors and a public share sale to Hong Kong retail investors.

Prudential hived off its UK insurer and asset manager M&G in 2019, following in the footsteps of rivals such as Standard Life Aberdeen and Old Mutual, which have also restructured complex businesses.

"These two transactions constitute the largest structural change in Pru’s 172-year history," Chief Executive Mike Wells, a former boss of the insurer's U.S. business, said on a media call.

JPMorgan Cazenove said Prudential's exit from the United States was "a positive" because it would reduce risk from U.S. macroeconomic factors while focusing purely on Asia, where it has performed strongly

Prudential shares were up 1% at 14.99 pounds by 1013 GMT.

Wells also said the company was talking to its staff in Myanmar daily since the military coup on Feb. ended the country's tentative steps towards democratic rule and triggered domestic protests and international dismay.

There have been no incidents affecting Prudential's Myanmar staff so far, Wells said.

The company's earnings statement said that Prudential sees Myanmar as an "opportunity for rapid growth" alongside Vietnam, the Philippines, Cambodia and Laos.

After deducting restructuring costs and other one-offs, Britain's largest insurer reported 2020 adjusted operating profit from continuing operations up 4% at $5.5 billion, beating a company-supplied consensus forecast of $5.26 billion.

Profit in Asia was up 13% at $3.7 billion while Jackson registered a 9% decline to $2.8 billion.

Prudential said it would pay a second interim dividend of 10.73 cents per share and a total dividend of 16.10 cents per share. (Additional reporting by Muvija M in Bengaluru Editing by Jane Merriman and David Goodman)


ę Reuters 2021
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
JPMORGAN CHASE & CO. -0.42% 152.65 Delayed Quote.20.13%
M&G PLC -0.99% 219 Delayed Quote.11.75%
OLD MUTUAL LIMITED 0.07% 13.45 End-of-day quote.13.12%
PRUDENTIAL PLC 0.10% 1554 Delayed Quote.15.26%
STANDARD LIFE ABERDEEN PLC -1.86% 284.2 Delayed Quote.2.95%
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Financials
Sales 2021 39 775 M 55 660 M 55 660 M
Net income 2021 2 939 M 4 113 M 4 113 M
Net Debt 2021 - - -
P/E ratio 2021 13,4x
Yield 2021 0,80%
Capitalization 40 647 M 56 859 M 56 880 M
Capi. / Sales 2021 1,02x
Capi. / Sales 2022 0,94x
Nbr of Employees 16 226
Free-Float 99,3%
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Technical analysis trends PRUDENTIAL PLC
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TrendsBullishBullishBullish
Income Statement Evolution
Consensus
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Mean consensus OUTPERFORM
Number of Analysts 17
Average target price 1 629,70 GBX
Last Close Price 1 554,00 GBX
Spread / Highest target 15,8%
Spread / Average Target 4,87%
Spread / Lowest Target -29,2%
EPS Revisions
Managers and Directors
NameTitle
Michael Andrew Wells Group Chief Executive Officer & Executive Director
Mark Thomas FitzPatrick Group COO, CFO & Executive Director
Shriti Vinodkant Vadera Chairman
Stuart James Turner Executive Director & Chief Compliance Officer
Kaikhushru Shiavax Nargolwala Independent Non-Executive Director
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