Adjusted operating profit* up 47% to £956 million (2003: £650 million), and up 40% to R11,296 million (2003: R8,041 million)
> Operating profit: £908 million (2003: £475 million), R10,711 million (2003: R5,884 million)
> Adjusted operating earnings per share* up 53% to 15.3p (2003: 10.0p), and up 46% to 181.1c (2003: 123.8c)
> Basic operating earnings per share: 14.1p (2003: 8.0p), 166.2c (2003: 99.1c)
> Funds under management: £140 billion (2003: £125 billion), an increase of 12%, R1,520 billion (2003: R1,495 billion)
> Adjusted embedded value per share: 139.1p, R15.08 at 31 December 2004 (2003: 104.6p, R12.49)
> Return on equity: 19.1% (2003: 14.4%**)
> Final dividend increased by 13% to 3.5p making 5.25p for the year***
Wherever the items asterisked in the Financial Highlights are used, whether in the Financial Highlights, the Chairman’s Statement, the Chief Executive’s Statement or the Group Business Review, the following apply:
* Adjusted operating profit represents the directors’ view of the underlying performance of the Group. For life assurance and general insurance businesses, adjusted operating profit is based on a long term investment return and includes investment returns on own shares held within the policyholders’ funds. For banking business, adjusted operating profit excludes the loss on disposal of investment in Dimension Data Holdings plc, restructuring and integration costs and the transitional impact of the change in credit provisioning methodology. For all businesses, adjusted operating profit excludes goodwill amortisation and impairment, and fines and penalties.
Adjusted operating earnings per share is similarly based, but is stated after tax and minority interests, with the calculation of the weighted average number of shares including own shares held in policyholders’ funds.
The segmental analysis has been prepared on a gross of inter-segment transactions basis.
** Comparative figures have been restated to reflect the adoption of Urgent Issues Taskforce Abstract 38 “Accounting for ESOP Trusts”.
*** The dividend recommended (final 3.5p per share, making 5.25p per share for the year) will be converted, for payment to shareholders on the branch registers and the Namibian
section of the principal register, into local currencies at exchange rates ruling at the close of business on 31 March 2005 (or 30 March 2005 in the case of Zimbabwe).
The Company achieved strong results in 2004 with profit, earnings per share, assets under management and embedded value all increased. A return on equity of 19.1% and net cash inflow at our US business of $12.3 billion further demonstrate the power underlying this performance.