Surge in profit expected at Prudential

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The Independent Online

Prudential's boss, Tidjane Thiam, will this week move closer to reaching an ambitious set of targets that could eventually lead to a break-up of the 164-year-old insurer.

The company, founded in London's Hatton Garden jewellery district, is expected to produce strong results on the back of rapid growth in its core Asian market.

Analysts believe the company will post a pre-tax profit of more than £2bn and raise its dividend by about 15 per cent. Rival Aviva last week slashed its payout on the back of a £3bn loss.

Crucially for Prudential, the results will come in the final 12 months of a three-year plan to boost its business in Asia. By the end of 2013, the company hopes to double on an annual basis the £719m in new business profit it made in the continent in 2010.

Mr Thiam (right), chief executive of Prudential since 2009, has spoken of creating "optionality" for the group's UK, US and Asian operations as well as its asset management arm M&G.

"Prudential's Asian life insurance unit continues to underpin our positive stance – it is geographically diversified, has improved its product mix and maintains a very strong distribution footprint," a Morgan Stanley analyst said.