Britain's largest insurer Prudential Plc
reported a better-than-expected 34 percent rise in first-half operating profit, helped by improving investment returns amid a broader market recovery.

Prudential <2378.HK>
reported an operating profit of 1.68 billion pounds for the first six months of the year, based on European Embedded Value (EEV) accounting standards, higher than a consensus forecast of 1.54 billion pounds, and better than the 1.25 billion pounds recorded a year earlier.

The company reported a 40 percent rise in net profit of 968 million pounds based on International Financial Reporting Standards, beating a consensus forecast of 724 million pounds, and better than 688 million pounds it posted a year earlier.

The firm raised its half-year dividend by 5 percent to 6.61 pence per share.

(Reporting by Kelvin Soh; editing by Chris Lewis)