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Aviva's annual profit declines

Improves profitability in both its life insurance and general insurance businesses.

The UK’s largest insurer, Aviva, has posted a profit before tax of £87m for the year ended 31 December 2011, compared to £2.44bn last year. The decline was primarily due to adverse unrealised investment variances.

Profit after tax was £60m in 2011, down from £1.89bn in 2010.

Operating profit before tax from continuing operations increased 14 per cent to £2.31bn in 2011, as against £2.02 previous year. During the year, the company’s general insurance unit operating profit surged by 3 per cent to £935m (2010: £904m).

Andrew Moss, group CEO of Aviva, said: “We delivered a strong operating performance in 2011. Despite challenging market conditions, we have beaten all our operating targets. We have made good strategic progress, focusing on markets where we will grow and earn higher returns.”

The company’s life insurance unit generated operating profits of £2.12bn in 2011, an increase of 7 per cent year on year from £1.99bn. General insurance and health profits increased by 3 per cent to £935m, while delivering an underwriting result gain by 10 per cent to £224m.

The company generated £2.1bn operating capital in 2011 (2010: £1.7bn). Diluted earnings per share were £5.7p and £49.6p in 2011 and 2010, respectively.

In 2011, operating profit in the UK increased by 8 per cent and 4 per cent in Europe. 

Moss added: “Aviva continues to perform well, even in tough times. We made great progress in the UK, growing profits and market share and we increased operating profits in Europe.”

The company, which serves 43 million customers, paid out £33bn in claims and benefits during 2011, and will continue to focus on operating capital generation and manage its balance sheet during 2012.

“Looking to 2012, we have increased our operating targets underlining our confidence in Aviva’s continued success,” concluded Moss.