Prudential sells health cover through Boots

Prudential has signed a deal to sell private medical insurance through 1,500 high street Boots stores. The private medical insurance market is worth £3bn a year and Prudential says the deal will help it reach 200,000 customers by the end of the year.

The news comes as Prudential announced a first-quarter sales slump after its UK sales fell 23% to £183m in the first three months of the year. The insurer says its bottom line has been hit by a lack of large bulk annuity contracts and the loss of a £15m deal with Lloyds TSB.

However, foreign sales helped offset the UK slump, with US revenues up 21% at £180m and Asia at £277m, up 34%.

Last month, Prudential announced it was upping its UK cost-cutting goal from £115m to £195m. Savings will come from internal cost-cutting, as well as offshoring and outsourcing 3,000 jobs.

Alliance Boots, owner of the high street pharmaceutical chain, is subject to bid interest from its chairman and 15% shareholder Stefano Pessina.

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