By Max Clarke

Year end profits for insurance giant Prudential were up 20% over the previous year to £3,696, buoyed in part by growth in the company’s Asian market.

The UK based insurers saw full year share dividends increased by 20 per cent to 23.85 pence each, white investment in new business of £643 and £660 million in 2009 and 2010 respectively yielded in excess of £2 billion.

Commenting on the results, Tidjane Thiam, Prudential Group Chief Executive, said:

“We have achieved a strong performance in 2010, with results significantly ahead on all key measures. Our disciplined approach to capital allocation, proactive risk management and focus on profitability are generating both growth and cash for our shareholders.

These principles have served us well during the financial crisis, allowing us to emerge from the 2008—2009 period with a stronger balance sheet, higher profits, higher cash flows and an increased dividend. Each part of the Group plays a key role in our strategy. Our flexibility and diversification have been instrumental in allowing us to navigate successfully the economic and market cycle. We have set ourselves ambitious objectives for cash generation not only from Asia but also from other parts of the Group.

The quality of our strategic options, our discipline in putting value ahead of volume and our focus on execution should allow us to continue to grow profitably and to generate significant returns for our shareholders. This is evidenced by the upwards rebasing of the dividend that we have announced today.”