Business Irish

Saturday 15 December 2018

Aviva hat-trick as profits jump 13pc

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Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

Profits at the Irish arm of Aviva rose 13pc to £86m (€93m) last year - the third year in a row of double digit percentage growth.

Aviva said its priority in Ireland is to maintain underwriting discipline - a signal prices aren't going to improve for customers .

Aviva is one of the country's biggest insurance providers, in particular in car, home and life insurance.

"For the third year in succession, Aviva Ireland is today reporting double digit, sustainable growth. Operating profit across our two businesses is up by 13pc to €93m," it said.

The company is in the process of buying investment business Friends First for €130m.

Aviva said its general insurance business saw net written premiums increase 8pc to €498m last year. The combined operating ratio, a measure of profitability in general insurance, improved slightly. In life insurance, the present value of new business premiums increased by 38pc to €1.2bn and operating profit increased by 19pc to €38m.

The parent Aviva Group also said it is starting a recovery plan at its Canadian operation after profit at the unit fell more than 80pc from a year earlier. The shares fell in London on the news.

Aviva will return more than £500m of capital to shareholders through a buy-back, special dividends or by paying off borrowings, the firm said in the statement.

It has also set aside about £600m for bolt-on acquisitions as it seeks to expand its range of products across life and general insurance in markets where it already has scale.

Irish Independent

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