Review under way
Aviva has ‘much to do’ as CEO confirms may sell Asia business
Insurer is undergoing a review
Aviva chief executive Maurice Tulloch has admitted ‘there is much to do’ to improve performance and confirmed that it is considering the sale of its Asia business.
Mr Tulloch who was appointed in March is looking at options for the division as part of a wider review.
In June the company announced a restructuring of its UK operations with the aim of saving £300 million a year in costs.
In its interim statement today, Mr Tulloch said Aviva has strong foundations to build upon “but there is much to do to improve our performance.”
Mr Tulloch added: “Our performance is mixed, with operating earnings per share up 2%. We have delivered strong general insurance results with a combined ratio of 95.9%. In life insurance and asset management, operating profits declined due to challenging market conditions and the absence of a longevity reserve release.
“In June we announced a plan to improve Aviva’s performance and deliver an excellent experience for our customers. We have made a quick start; separating management of our life and general insurance businesses in the UK and bringing together UK Digital and UK General Insurance.
“Our financial position remains strong with a capital surplus of £11.8 billion and £2.3 billion of cash at group. Maintaining such a healthy capital surplus is important as we continue to reduce our debt levels and safely navigate uncertain market conditions. Aviva is ready and resilient.
“I am working with the board to refresh Aviva’s strategy and we have decided to review the strategic options for our Asian businesses. Aviva’s businesses in Asia have excellent growth and earnings potential and we are considering a range of options to help these businesses reach their potential.”
Operating profit for the six month period is up 1% to £1.45 billion (HY18: £1.44bn)
The board has increased the interim dividend by 3% to 9.5p per share.