Aviva Plc reports 9% increase in operating profit to £1.46 billion in 2023

Aviva staff

LONDON, UK: Aviva Plc, the UK’s largest insurer, announced its 2023 annual results on Thursday, showing a 9% increase in group operating profit to £1,467m and a 12% increase in solvency II operating own funds generation to £1,729m. The company also declared a final dividend of 22.3 pence per share, up 8% from the previous year, and launched a new share buyback programme of £300m.

The company attributed its strong performance to its focus on cost efficiency, customer retention, and product innovation across its core markets of UK, Canada, and Europe. Aviva’s general insurance premiums grew 13% to £10,888m, driven by strong rate discipline and new propositions in the UK and Canada.

Its insurance, wealth and retirement operating value added grew 13% to £1,849m, reflecting the growth in protection, health, and retirement sales. Aviva Investors, the company’s asset management arm, also contributed to the group’s growth by originating £2.6bn of real assets for its annuities business and attracting over 60% of workplace net flows.

Aviva’s CEO, Amanda Blanc, said: “We are pleased with our 2023 results, which demonstrate our continued profitable growth momentum and our ability to deliver regular and sustainable capital returns to our shareholders. We have made significant progress in transforming Aviva into a simpler, stronger, and more focused business, and we are confident in our future prospects. We are upgrading our dividend guidance and we now expect to grow the cash cost of the dividend by mid-single digits.”

Aviva’s solvency II shareholder cover ratio stood at 207% at the end of 2023, and its centre liquidity was £1.9bn as of February 2024. The company said it remains committed to returning surplus capital regularly and sustainably to shareholders, and that it has returned more than £9bn of capital and dividends to shareholders over the last three years. The company also said it expects to complete the sale of its remaining non-core businesses in 2024, which will further simplify its portfolio and release capital.

Amanda Blanc, Group Chief Executive Officer, said: “We have made significant progress in 2023. Sales are up, costs are down, and operating profit is 9% higher. Our position as the UK’s leading diversified insurer, with major businesses in Canada and Ireland, is clearly delivering. Today we have raised our total dividend by 8% to 33.4 pence and have now returned more than £9bn in capital and dividends to shareholders over the last three years.

“We have generated strong organic growth, especially in our capital-light businesses, which make up over half our portfolio. General insurance premiums increased by 13% on the back of strong performances in Canada and the UK. We are the number one provider of workplace pensions, and this business continues to thrive, with a record £6.9bn of net flows, boosted by winning 477 new schemes during the year. Our private health business is experiencing strong demand from businesses and individual customers and sales grew 41% in 2023. The higher interest rate environment boosted the bulk annuity market, where we secured excellent volumes of £5.5bn at strong margins.

“We are building a clear track record of strong and consistent performance. In each of the last three years we have grown sales, operating profit and our dividend. This momentum gives us increased confidence for Aviva’s future, and so today we are announcing a new £300m share buyback programme, upgrading our dividend guidance to mid-single digit cash cost growth, and upgrading our Group financial targets.

“Aviva is financially strong. We are trading consistently well. Our prospects have never been better. We have leading businesses in growing markets, a fantastic brand, and we are investing substantially to make service better for our 19m customers. All the ingredients are in place to ensure Aviva continues to deliver an outstanding performance for our customers and our shareholders. I’m certain we will.”

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *