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FPI sales in Asia halved but expansion still going ahead

Friends Provident International saw first-quarter sales in Asia halve from last year’s figures but the firm remains focused on international expansion.

FPI attributed the drop in its Asian sales to £16.7m from £32.5 to market volatility and dented consumer confidence.

Despite the tough economic climate, managing director for international operations Rocco Sepe is focusing on product diversification and sensible ways of extending the group’s geographical presence.

He says: “These are tough conditions but we are pushing forward. We are refreshing propositions being energetic with our new product offerings and we expect as soon as markets rec-over for us to be able to really push on with this business.”

Sepe says FPI is continuing to develop its profile in the Middle East after acquiring a full UAE license with new distribution.

He also intends to build on the group’s Singaporean and German offering.

FPI has operated in the Hong Kong market for over 20 years and, according to Sepe, the firm’s strong distributor relationships will put it in good stead come a recovery.

He says: “Asian markets tend to recover first and faster than others. In stark contrast to the UK, there is almost determined optimism. We cannot call when it will turn but it will turn and it is a region set for very fast growth in years to come.”

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