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Prudential posts rise in profit

Insurance giant Prudential shrugged off recent emerging market woes as it posted a 17% hike in annual earnings thanks to another robust performance from its businesses in Asia and the United States.

The group brushed aside this year's currency turmoil across emerging markets as short-term challenges and said it stands to benefit when these regions adjust to life after America's multi-billion dollar money-printing drive is withdrawn.

A surge in earnings across Asia and the US helped offset tougher conditions in the UK, where earnings flat-lined after being hit by last year's industry shake-up on financial advice.

Profits in the UK were flat at £706 million in 2013, while retail sales tumbled 23% to £176 million as the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) hurt sales of investment and with-profit bonds.

Prudential claimed it was a "resilient performance" from the UK arm amid an industry facing "considerable regulatory change".

Shares rose more than 3% as it reported an overall operating profit haul of £2.95 billion for 2013 after seeing double digit increases in earnings across Asia and the US - up 17% on an underlying basis to £1 billion and 29% at £1.2 billion respectively.

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