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THE PRUDENTIAL ASSURANCE COMPANY, LIMITED. MAGNIFICENT SURPLUS OF SIXTY MILLIONS STERLING. PHENOMENAL GROWTH OF A GREAT UNDERTAKING. THE LARGEST INSURANCE CONCERN IN THE COUNTRY. GRATIFYING INCREASE OF BUSINESS IN THE BARRY DISTRICT. \The annual report! and financial statement of the. Prudential Assurance Company appears in the advertising columns of the Barry Dock News this I week. When last year it was our pleasing duty to refer to the splendid progress made by the wonderful Prudential Company during the pre- vious calendar period, we mentioned that the total funds, exclusive of share capital, had increased by the vast sum of over £4,000,000 sterling, and then amounted to £55,359,505. It is now known throughout the length and breadth of the United Kingdom, and probably in the United States as well, that this surprising life office added last year an even larger sum to its gigantic accumulations, which now approximate to close upon sixty millions sterling. To be exact, their amount on Becember 31st last was J659,464,376, showing an actual increase of four million odd during the twelve months. For 57 years the Prudential Assurance Company has been in existence, becoming each year bigger and bigger, until it is difficult to find language capable of describing its growth or its position in the great world of insurance. As the pioneer of small insurances for the industrial classes, it holds a place which may with perfect truth be described as uniquely national as well as monumental. The directors'reportpresented to the annual meeting a fortnight ago, was on the familiar lines, brief and unadorned by rhetorical lfourishes, but full of facts and figures calculated to bewilder by their magnitude, and in consequence to completely baffle ordinary understanding. As usual the report is divided into two parts- the Ordinary Branoh and the Industrial Branch. In the former, the number of polices issued last year was 75,293, assuring £ 7,211,427, and produc- ing a new annual premium income of £395,029. In 1904 the corresponding figures were 71,874 polices, assuring d66,954,650, at new annual premiums of £ 377,587. There has, therefore, been a gratifying advance during the past year. The total premiums received were £4,123,318, being an increase of £ 154,302 over the preceding year. The olaims on death and endowment assurances matured, amounted to £1,812,618. At the end of the year there were in force 773,051 policies in this department. In the Industrial Branch the progress has been equally remarkable. The premiums received amounted to the large sum of d66,139,050, an in- crease of £159,715 over the preceding year. There were paid in claims by death and endowment assurances matured £ 2,261,748—a smaller total by some j631,500 than in 1904, notwithstanding the augmented business. As a significant reproof to those thoughtless or ignorant persons who glibly declare that the industrial assurance companies live on lapses or the misfortunes of their clients* the Prudential Company invariably inserts in its report a paragraph giving the number of free policies granted to those policyholders of five years' stand- ing and upwards who have desired to discontinue their payments. During the past year the number so granted was 123,586, and the total number in force is 1,102,267. But for this option, liberally conceded, no doubt a large proportion of this vast number might have allowed their policies to lapse but the object of the Company is to retain their policyholders, and to effect this rather than lose their hold on the assured, or that the assured should suffer loss, the Company give a free paid-up policy for an equivalent amount to the sum paid in premiums; so that the argument of certain detractors who say the companies thrive on lapses loses ita force-it is not true. The Prudential has in the Industrial branch no fewer than 16,065,268 policies in existence, and in the Ordinary branch 773,051, together 16,838,319. The average duration of the Industrial policies is eleven years, showing a remarkably stable business. With an increasing business, necessitating increasing reserves, it is satisfactory to find that the assets are showing accelerated buoyancy. They now amount to the grand total of £ 59,464,376, having been augmented during the year by the sum of £ 4,104,871. This growth has been regular throughout the existence of the Company. For the last ten years the income from all sources and the assets have been as follows Year. Income. Assets. 1896 £ 8,102,686 B27 059.110 1897 8,562,442 30,438,337 1898. 9,029,190. 33,599,708 1899. 9,547,142 36,832,059 1900. 10,063,144. 39,895,328 1901 10,380,896. 43,292,026 190 2 10,737,245. 47.155,201 190 3 11,300,259. 51,217,377 190 4 11,749,652. 55,359,505 1905. 12,224,284 59,464,376 This is a record which no other insurance com- pany in Great Britain can show, and constitutes a position of affairs not easy to realise, which its directors and staff have every reason to con- template with unbounded satisfaction. The assets are invested in the most approved securities, no less than £13,819,468 being loaned to municipalities on local rates, JB7,609,760 on mortgages on property within the United Kingdom, and £ 7,581,357 on railway, gas, and water stocks. It is, we admit, difficult to realise the meaning of the stupendous figures we have enumerated, but some conception may be gained by imagining the assets to be expressed in sovereigns, and the sovereigns formed into a golden column. Such a column would be fifty-nine miles long, and would make 766 columns each the height of St. Paul's Cathedral. Placed side by side they would be more than 800 miles in length, or rather further than the distance from London to the extreme North of Scotland. As striking as the magnitude of the figures, is the organisation of the Company. Its work is comfined to the United Kingdom, the population of which is approximately 42 millions, while the number of policies in force in the Prudential is nearly 17 millions. Every year the figures show that the number of policy- holders is increasing, the total for 1905 being the greatest that the Company has experienced. It is not surprising, in view of this fact, to learn that over 16,000 agents are working for the Prudential, every one of whom is carefully seclected for the work. Mr Schooling, the Actuary, has, as usual, made the annual valuation, and the results shown must be in the highest degree satisfactory. The sum- mary given in the report states that in the Ordinary branch the surplus is £ 1,187,149, including 4176,249 brought forward from last










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