Shares in Prudential were up on the FTSE 100 in morning trading after the insurance group said it more than doubled its profits in the full year 2010.
The group said that after-tax profit jumped 112 per cent to £1.4 billion, while shareholders funds increased 28 per cent to eight billion pounds.
Prudential said that it would be raising its full year dividend 20 per cent to 23.85 pence per share.
Tidjane Thiam, Chief Executive of Prudential, 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."
Richard Hunter, Head of UK Equities at Hargreaves Lansdown Stockbrokers, commented, "With or without AIA, Prudential has continued to power ahead in the Asian region.
"The statement has pleased investors on most fronts, with significant cash generation underpinned by a 20% hike in the dividend. This expression of future confidence in prospects should help to mollify shareholders upset by the distraction of the failed AIA approach last year. The company is now committed to promoting value over volume in its chosen markets, where the likes of the US and UK should complement the success story in Asia. Even with concerns over the Chinese authorities slamming too hard on the financial brakes, Prudential remains established and extremely profitable in the region. In addition, the low interest rate environment which has resulted in investors chasing yield has also been of benefit to the group's investment products.
"The group's geographical diversification and cash generative ability has pleased value investors, and the shares have risen 38% over the last year, as compared to a gain of 6% in the wider FTSE100. The current market view of the shares as a buy is likely to be consolidated following these numbers."
By 09:25 shares in Prudential were up 3.50 pence per share on the FTSE 100 to 739.00 pence per share.