The London-headquartered life and health insurance giant raised dividends from 12.92p a year ago to 14.50p on the back of more than twofold increase in pre-tax profits to £1.8 billion. Operating profit, which excludes one-offs, jumped 5% on a constant currency basis; but, currency tailwinds resulted in a 15% growth to £2.36 billion.
“We have achieved our objective of generating over £10 billion of Group cumulative free surplus between 1 January 2014 and 31 December 2017 six months early and we remain on track to achieve the remaining Asia-focused objectives by the end of this year”, said CEO Mike Wells in a statement Thursday.
“We are also announcing today our intention to combine M&G and Prudential UK & Europe to form M&G Prudential, a savings and investments business focused on meeting growing customer demand for comprehensive financial solutions”, he added.
The recruitment consultancy raised interim dividend as operating profits jumped nearly 9% to £57 million. Favorable currency benefits triggered a special dividend as gross profit saw £28 million in currency gains.
“The Board has announced an interim dividend of 3.90 pence per share, an increase of 4.0% over last year as a result of our improved trading performance and strong balance sheet”, said CEO Steve Ingham.
“In addition, the Group is pleased to announce today a special dividend of £40m (12.73 pence per share), making a third consecutive year of special dividends, in line with its intention to return surplus capital to shareholders”, he added.
The Ireland-based packaged food and beverage company, which has a stellar track record of earnings growth, raised dividend by 10% as six-month operating profit rose to €126.5 million from €112.8 million, while joint ventures’ profit doubled to €22.3 million from £11.1 million in the year-ago half.
“The sale of 60% of Dairy Ireland and related assets was completed on 2 July 2017 and this business together with Glanbia Ingredients Ireland have formed a new Joint Venture named Glanbia Ireland”, said group managing director Siobhán Talbot.
“Glanbia Nutritionals and Joint Ventures were the main drivers of growth in the first half and we believe second half earnings progression will also be driven by Glanbia Performance Nutrition where good organic growth is expected for the remainder of the year… Overall, we reiterate guidance for the full year of proforma Adjusted Earnings Per Share growth of 7% to 10% on a constant currency basis”, she added.
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