ANOTHER stellar performance in Asia is likely to reignite speculation that insurance giant Prudential will uproot from the UK to the Far East.
The UK’s biggest insurer is expected, on Friday, to report a 7 per cent hike in operating profits to £1.1 billion for the first six months of 2012, with its Asian arm the star, up 17 per cent to £380 million.
Last year, the group’s Asian business generated more profits than the Pru’s UK arm for the first time and its home market is again set to be overshadowed. The group, which was founded in London in 1848, has threatened to move from London – possibly to Asia – as it continues to wrangle with regulators over new accountancy rules that will force it to set aside more cash.
Hovis-maker Premier Foods will say on Tuesday that its turnaround plans remain on track despite suffering a fall in profits. The UK’s biggest food manufacturer has seen its shares lose three-quarters of their value in just over a year as it struggles under the weight of its near £1 billion debt mountain.
The operator of the Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn hotel brands is set to brush off concerns about a probe into anti-competitive practices when it chalks up a rise in profits on Tuesday. Intercontinental Hotels Group will face questions about the Office of Fair Trading’s provisional findings that it has been involved in a potentially-unlawful deal with two of the biggest online travel agents, Booking.com and Expedia, to limit room discounts.
Analysts called the allegations a “red herring”, saying any fine is likely to be small. The firm’s ability to absorb a fine will be highlighted when it posts operating profits up 6 per cent to $285m (£183m) for the first six months of 2012.
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Friday 24 May 2013
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