UK insurer Aviva warns outlook weaker on Brexit uncertainty

UK insurer Aviva warns outlook weaker on Brexit uncertainty

UK insurer Aviva warns outlook weaker on Brexit uncertainty

But Aviva's new boss, Maurice Tulloch, said he is determined to "re-energise" the insurer as it reported a 2% rise in underlying operating profits to £3.1 billion.

The insurer's performance over the course of 2018 helped it to increase its full-year dividend, with the company offering a final pay-out of 20.75p a share, bringing its total 2018 dividend to 30p per share.

Aviva Ireland said it was supporting measures to increase pensions coverage among those in full-time employment from its current level of less than 50%.

He added: "We recently announced the appointment of Maurice Tulloch as chief executive".

Pretax profit slipped to GBP1.65 billion from GBP2.37 billion.

Aviva announced in a statement this morning that its operating earnings per share had climbed seven percent to 58.4p previous year, while its operating profit came in two percent higher at £3.12 billion.

Aviva's core business, Life Business, saw its operating profit increase 5.3% to GBP3.00 billion from GBP2.85 billion.

Aviva's combined ratio was slightly behind consensus of 96.8%.

Aviva's Solvency II capital cover ratio rose to 204% from 198% and the capital surplus was £12.0bn, compared to £12.2bn the prior year.

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More positively, Stoddard expects the results to benefit from improved profitability in Canada along with a lower interest expense and a reduction in weighted average shares in issue following capital management initiatives undertaken a year ago.

He continued: "We increased profit in the United Kingdom, where we won more workplace pension schemes and bulk annuity deals, and across our global businesses, where we expanded and diversified our distribution".

"Aviva Investors had a more challenging year due to hard investment markets and we have continued to invest in our asset management expertise".

Its Net Written Premiums declined marginally by 2% to €485m from €498m in what it called an increasingly competitive market.

Mr Tulloch said: "I am excited to be taking over as CEO of Aviva. We have strong foundations but we are only scratching the surface of our full potential".

'There's a huge opportunity here. And that will be just the start.

Aviva's new chief executive has pledged to leave "no stone unturned" as he seeks to appease impatient investors after years of slow growth.

Hargreaves Lansdown analyst Nicholas Hyett said: "Ongoing restructuring and the disposal of fringe businesses mean the group's been very inward looking in recent years, although it's also in much better shape".

Commenting on the results, Sir Adrian Montague, chairman of Aviva, said: "Aviva made steady progress in 2018". We plan to reduce debt by at least GBP1.5 billion by the end of 2022, saving approximately GBP90 million per year in interest expenses.

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