Uncertainty surrounding the UK housing market will see Friends Provident take longer to achieve its 2008 UK new business targets.
Protection sales increased 2% over the last six months, to £202m, well down compared to group pensions – which increased sales by 11%.
“About 56% of our key protection business is driven by the housing market and it is a bit of a varied market with some uncertainty,” Friends Provident UK sales and marketing managing director Simon Clamp says.
He added the sector was fiercely competitive across the board, and most of Friends Prov’s rivals were experiencing the same or perhaps even less impressive results.
Clamp acknowledged the current moderate protection market meant the 2008 new business targets will take longer to achieve, but says Friends Prov is well placed to improve.
“When we announced the targets originally the market drivers were more positive,” Clamp says.
One sector Clamp was less than impressed with was the investment side, saying the 26% sales drop from the same time last year was “pretty disappointing”.
But again Clamp remains optimistic and says the company is working hard to improve its performance.
As for the expectations in the next six month period, Clamp says Friends Provident is confident about the proposed merger with Resolution.
“Management on both sides expect the merger to go through so we are expecting these results to continue," he says.
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