Friends Provident reported a 2% increase in life and pension sales for its international business in 2009, to £465.2m, compared to the previous year.
New business in Q4 across the three international arms of the group - Friends Provident International (FPI), Lombard, and Amlife - was £256.1m, up from £180m for the same period in 2008. This was a year on year increase of 42%.
Friends Provident International (FPI) reported sales of £182.6m for the whole of 2009, down 13% compared to 2008.
However, Q4 2009 new business at FPI rose by 30% to £53.8m from £41.4m in the last three months of 2008.
Lombard brought in £273m of new business in 2009, and AmLife £9.1m, accounting for over half of group new business sales for the year.
In Hong Kong, Friends Provident reports continued depressed demand well below the peak level of early 2008, though it identifies signs of improvement.
FPI has increased its share of linked business in this market from 6% for the full year 2008 to 11.2% for the first nine months of 2009.
Rocco Sepe, managing director of international operations, says: "We are much more confident going into 2010. The markets do not need to soar they just need to stabilise for people to invest."
In the Middle East, he says operations are shifting from Dubai towards Abu Dhabi where there are greater development opportunities and an increasing influx of third country nationals.
However, Friends Provident's main 2010 strategy will be to penetrate deeper into its current markets.
Sepe says: "We will look to get deeper into bank assurance and into those territories where we already have a presence."
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