Aviva says sales boosted by France, emerging markets

7th November 2013, Comments 0 comments

British insurer Aviva said on Thursday that new sales grew in the first nine months of the year, lifted by particularly "strong" growth in France and emerging markets.

The value of new business, Aviva's preferred performance measure, rose 14 percent to £571 million ($918 million, 679 million euros) in the nine months to September 30, compared with a year earlier, it said in a trading update.

Operating expenses slid seven percent to £2.28 billion, added the group, which is Britain's second-biggest insurer after Prudential.

Aviva said the value of new business surged by 33 percent in France, while its divisions in Turkey, Poland and Asia all achieved gains of more than 40 percent.

"Progress is in line with our expectations and we remain focused on delivering cash flow plus growth," said chief executive Mark Wilson.

"We had strong performances from France and our growth markets of Turkey, Poland and Asia.

"Conversely, value of new business remains depressed in our turnaround businesses of Italy and Spain, and this is being addressed."

Aviva, which recently completed the sale of its US business for $2.6 billion, added on Thursday that its cost-cutting turnaround scheme was on track.

Wilson added: "Aviva remains in the early stages of turnaround. Whilst we have resolved a key issue in the disposal of our US business and have made progress in a number of areas, there remains much work to be done."

In July 2012, Aviva revealed it would withdraw from 16 non-core business areas after a major strategic review that was aimed at strengthening its capital base and share price.

© 2013 AFP

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