Hansard Global FY results boosted by Middle East, Africa

Hansard Global, the Isle of Man-based, LSE-listed investment product provider, said its full-year new business results were boosted by sales into the Middle Eastern and African markets.

New business, as measured in present value of new business premiums,  totalled £119.3m in the year to the end of June, around 97% higher than the respective figure in 2015, the company reported on Thursday.

The fourth quarter new business figure of £32.6m PVNBP was approximately 65% higher than was realised in Q4 of 2015, Hansard said.

In a statement accompanying its results, Hansard noted that in addition to the strong take-up seen in the Middle East and Africa, “a key product enhancement launched in Q4” had been “well received”. This was a reference to an upgrade of its Vantage Platinum product, which it said had attracted more than £13m in PVNBP since introduced in March.

The UK’s recent vote to leave the European Union “has no direct impact on Hansard in terms of the operation of its business activities or access to markets,” the company, which focuses its sales efforts on non-UK markets, noted.

“Sterling weakness compared to the US dollar will be a benefit to income and profit levels if rates remain at current levels, as the majority of premium contributions and assets under administration are in currencies other than sterling,” it added.

Hansard chief executive Gordon Marr said the results had put the company “on a strong footing after a year of transition in 2015”.

“We see further opportunities for growth in new and existing markets, and are confident of achieving this in the coming financial year,” he added.

Hansard shares soared initially on the results Thursday morning in London before settling in slightly lower, at 118.6p, around 1pm. This is around 12% higher than they were a year ago, though well below the 172.2p they closed at five years ago.

Hansard was founded in the UK as Liberty Life in 1970 by Leonard Polonsky, who sold most of the business to Lincoln National but kept the Hansard part of it with the intention of growing it. It was floated on the LSE  in December 2006. A Dublin-based operation known as Hansard Europe closed to new business in June 2013. Its main markets now are the Middle East, Far East and Latin America.

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