British insurance giant Prudential said on Tuesday that net profits rose four percent to £1.49 billion (1.77 billion euros, $2.33 billion) in 2011 from the level a year earlier on Asian growth. Prudential had reported slightly lower profit after tax of £1.43 billion in 2010, the company said in an earnings statement. \"Prudential has delivered another strong performance in 2011 led by Asia,\" Prudential chief executive Tidjane Thiam said in the release. \"The heart of our strategy remains Asia, where our positive momentum has been maintained in 2011 .... Asia is generating both growth and cash and our focus on the fast-growing markets of South-East Asia continues to pay off,\" he added. Thiam said Prudential was on track to deliver its profit growth and cash generation objectives going forward. \"In this uncertain macroeconomic environment, our clear strategy and the strength of our products and distribution -- combined with our balanced portfolio of businesses and market-leading positions in Asia -- mean we are well positioned to deliver continued relative outperformance in the medium-term.\" Prudential said on Tuesday that group operating profit, or earnings before tax and interest payments, grew 7.0 percent to £2.07 billion in 2011. Thiam added that for the first time, Prudential\'s life insurance business was the single largest contributor to the group\'s operating profit total. \"Since 2008, Asia\'s contribution to this benchmark profit measure has almost trebled from £257 million to £709 million,\" he added. There has been long-running media speculation that Prudential could switch its headquarters from London to Asia, where the group makes about 45 percent of its total sales. Ahead of its latest earnings update, Prudential last month said that it was looking at possibly moving its base to avoid new European capital requirement regulations for the insurance sector.