- General insurance sales up 13%
- Dividend reaffirmed at 33.4p
- CEO sees firm beating targets
FTSE 100 insurance group Aviva (AV.) delivered a typically reassuring third-quarter trading statement and suggested it was on track to exceed its medium-term financial targets.
The shares gained just under 1% to 417p, continuing the recovery from their September lows around 360p.
The firm reported a 13% increase in general insurance GWP (gross written premiums) over the first nine months of the year to £8 billion from £7.2 billion in 2022.
Growth was driven by the UK and Ireland, where premiums rose 15%, and Canada up 11%, both driven by strong rates on retained business and new customer volumes.
Protection and Health, a small but fast-growing part of the business, saw sales rise 23% to £330 million with Health helped by an increase in new corporate customer sign-ups, while retirement sales were also positive albeit with just a 2% increase.
Wealth net inflows were an impressive £6.4 billion or 6% of opening assets, while Workplace net inflows were up 26% to over £5 billion on the back of new business wins and the impact of wage inflation.
‘Aviva has delivered nine months of strong growth. We have clear trading momentum, driven by our uniquely diversified business, as well as our leading positions in growing markets’, said chief executive Amanda Blanc.
‘We have continued to expand our capital-light businesses, which now make up over half of our portfolio. We see significant opportunities to generate further higher return, capital-light growth in the future as we prioritise these segments.’
Blanc continued: ‘Aviva's prospects are very positive. We expect to beat our medium-term financial targets and, in line with previous guidance, grow operating profit by 5-7% this year, despite higher weather-related claims.’
The chief executive reaffirmed her guidance for a total dividend for this year of 33.4p per share, putting the stock on a yield of exactly 8%, and said she was ‘extremely confident Aviva will continue to deliver more for shareholders’ including ‘further regular and sustainable returns of surplus capital’.
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