Covid-19 restrictions in Japan are "gradually improving with our chosen distribution partner engaging positively around replanning their backlog of product launch activities", Hansard Global said in its latest trading update for the quarter ending 30 September 2021.

New business for the quarter ended 30 September 2021 was £31.4m in PVNBP ("Present Value of New Business Premiums") terms, 8.2% lower than Q1 of the prior financial year.

Assets under administration were £1.22bn as at 30 September 2021, unchanged from 30 June 2021.

Graham Sheward, group chief executive, said: "While the first quarter of our financial year typically sees a seasonal decline due to the summer holiday period, this year the impact was greater as distributors and clients took the opportunity to take extended summer breaks as global travel restrictions eased.

As a result, the first quarter of our 2022 financial year saw lower levels of new business. However, we are working hard to reinvigorate sales levels for Q2 which traditionally sees volumes increase."

He further said: "The operating environment in Japan is gradually improving as Covid-19 restrictions are relaxed, although it may still be a while before we return to more normalised conditions. Notwithstanding this, we are working hard to agree a detailed timeline to launch with our first distribution partner and continue to expect this initiative to deliver positive new business growth for Hansard.

I was delighted to accept industry awards recently from International Investment on behalf of my colleagues for technology and customer service excellence. These are key areas in which Hansard seeks to maintain its competitive advantage and are important to our future success."