Insurer Aviva posted a 2 percent rise in 2017 operating profit to 3.1 billion pounds ($4.31 billion) on Thursday, boosted by strong performance in its United Kingdom division, and said it would give 500 million pounds back to shareholders. This takes the full year dividend per share to 27.4 pence, an increase of 18%.
General insurance net written premiums rose 11 per cent to £9.1 billion; operating profit rose 2 per... Aviva is now a simpler, stronger group and we are growing.
Operating profit from annuities and equity release grew 11 per cent to £725m and sales of bulk purchase annuities more than tripled to £2bn.
The company has plans to spend around £600 million on so-called "bolt-on" acquisitions, as well as £900 million on debt reduction.
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Chief executive Mark Wilson said: "Our largest market, the United Kingdom, has gone from strength to strength, growing sales, market share and profit". We continue to invest in our businesses and in particular on priorities such as digital to make our products and services easier for our customers. "Our strategy is paying dividends", said chief executive Mark Wilson.
Mr Wilson has also been pushing through a radical shake-up of the group, exiting fringe businesses to focus on its core operations.
The 600 million pound acquisition target includes Aviva's 130 million euro ($161 million) purchase of Irish insurer Friends First late past year, it said in a trading statement.