Prudential's total UK sales remained flat in 2007 and the insurer relied on Asian business to boost group figures, according to its annual results.
The group’s total UK sales stuck at £897m last year while sales in Asia soared by 44% to £1.306m.
UK retail sales rose just 4% in the fourth quarter of 2007 to £715m although individual annuity sales rose 4% to £283m. Sales through intermediaries fell 26% from the same period in 2006.
There was better news for with-profits annuity sales which rose 30% to £48m in 2007 while retail with-profits sales increased 21% to £231m.
Meanwhile, the lifetime mortgage business was up 75% to £156m.
Prudential did not include PruHealth sales in the group’s total figures but the business grew 80% to £64m.
Mark Tucker, group chief executive, says: “These results demonstrate the fundamental attractiveness of Asia as the fastest growing region of the world’s life assurance markets.
“As we look ahead into 2008 the general economic outlook is uncertain and it remains to be seen how far this will impact upon the appetite to save.
"In the US and the UK our primary focus is on the retirement market, where demand is less sensitive to a general economic downturn than in other sectors. We therefore expect to see further profitable growth in both these markets.
“In Asia, the fundamentals underpinning economic growth remain powerful and our businesses are very well placed to benefit, although we do not currently expect growth in 2008 to reach the very high levels achieved in 2007.”
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