Friends Provident International (FPI) sales have fallen by 11% compared to Q4 last year, while total group sales have plummeted 40% due to the 'tough' economic environment.
The drop off in sales at FPI to £37m in Q1 is due to "demanding" economic conditions and low investor confidence, according to Rocco Sepe, managing director, international at Friends Provident.
However, he says FPI still has a solid position in the Asia market on which to build, despite being heavily dependent on the Hong Kong market, which dropped 75% in Q4. Sepe predicts Hong Kong could be one of the first markets to recover.
He says: "We continue to work on propositions to win a big slice of this business, when it does pick up."
Furthermore, Sepe says the Middle East business is doing well having increased FPI's presence in the United Arab Emirates.
He believes FPI still has room to grow in its Middle East, German and Singapore markets.
"We're still a small player in Germany and there's plenty of room to grow in the Middle East. We've secured our first group savings scheme there and it should start to show in the second half of the year," says Sepe.
Meanwhile, Lombard is down 16% year-on-year as fewer large cases fall within the first quarter result, according to Friends Provident.
Large cases only accounted for about 10% of business in Q1, says Sepe.
"It's a lumpy business dependent with large cases which have a heavy bearing on results," he says.
He expects Germany to be an increasingly important market for Lombard.
"We also expect to do better in Asia as we develop new products. The business is all about the second half of the year," he adds.
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