Irish unit made €1.4bn in profits
INSURER Aviva managed to squeeze profits of more than €1.4bn out of Ireland during the boom years, helping to shore up its UK parent with big cash payouts, according to industry estimates.
Meanwhile the UK insurer has been selling off its Irish government bonds over the past three years, long before the current eurozone debt crisis began. Instead, it has sought out the safety of German and French bonds.
Figures supplied to the Irish Independent by insurance industry sources show Aviva was able to pay out a dividend to its UK parent of €133m in 2009.
Over the past seven years, total dividend payouts come to about €1bn. Ireland's low corporation tax at 12.5pc would also have saved Aviva substantial sums over the boom years, as dividends are only paid out after tax.
The Irish operations, which sometimes include contributions from other markets, were highly profitable during the boom years, but returns have dropped sharply in the current year, insurance experts estimate.
The profits in Ireland come via life and pension products and general insurance.