Prudential hikes dividend following jump in profits

Insurance group Prudential has proposed a 15.9 per cent increase in its total dividend after unveiling a 54 per cent leap in annual profits.

The firm said shareholders are in line for a final dividend of 20.79p a share, up from 17.24p in 2011, taking the total payout for the year to 29.19p.

News of the bumper dividend – which contrasts with sharp cuts in payouts from rivals Aviva and RSA – came as Prudential posted a 54 per cent increase in pre-tax profits to £2.8 billion for 2012.

Chief executive Tidjane Thiam said: “Our strategy has remained consistent – to accelerate growth in Asia; to build on the strength of our US operations; to focus the UK business and optimise asset management.

“We have remained focused on executing that strategy with discipline and on producing strong results across our geographies.”