Friends Provident Scraps Lombard Sale; Third-Quarter Sales Fall

Friends Provident Plc, the 176-year-old U.K. insurer, scrapped the sale of its Lombard International unit and posted a 39 percent drop in third-quarter sales.

Overall new business dropped to 194.3 million pounds ($315 million), from 316 million pounds in the same period a year earlier, the Dorking, England-based insurer said today in a Regulatory News Service statement. U.K. life and pensions sales fell to 105.1 million pounds, missing the 139 million-pound average estimate of nine analysts, the company said.

The insurer said today its capital position was ``strong.''

To contact the reporters for this story: Kevin Crowley in London at kcrowley1@bloomberg.net Poppy Trowbridge in London at ptrowbridge@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mike Anderson manderson34@bloomberg.net Frank Connelly fconnelly@bloomberg.net.

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