- Insurance company Prudential said it was planning a partial float of its US business, as it posted a 20% rise in underlying earnings.

Pre-tax profit for the year through December fell 36% to $2.29bn, down from $3.56bn on-year.

Adjusted operating profit from continuing operations, the company's preferred measure of underlying performance, rose by a fifth to $5.31bn.

'We have delivered another positive performance during 2019, despite significant macroeconomic and geopolitical volatility,' chief executive Mike Wells said.

'Our clear strategy and strong execution have enabled us both to deliver profitable growth and to position ourselves for further growth into the future.'

Prudential has been under pressure from activist investor Third Point Management to split its Asian and US operations.

Wells said the company the US business, known as Jackson, needed access to additional investment, best provided by third parties.

'We are today announcing that the board has determined that the preferred route to achieve this is a minority initial public offering of Jackson,' he said.

'We have already taken a number of management actions to support this path.'

'We will now begin detailed engagement with our key stakeholders, with a view to ensuring that Jackson will have the capital strength as a separately listed business to support its continued success as a broad provider of retirement solutions for America's aging population.'

At 1:18pm: [LON:PRU] Prudential PLC share price was -20.25p at 1077.25p

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