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Aviva backs the UK as life and pension profits rise

Aviva UK Life chief executive David Barral says the company is committed to staying in the UK after revealing a 6 per cent rise in group operating profits last year to £2.5bn.

The preliminary results last week show UK long-term savings sales rose from £10.3bn in 2010 to £11.3bn last year.

UK life and pension operating profits increased by 8 per cent from £850m to £920m.

But group pre-tax profits plunged to £84m from £2.4bn, partly due to a £726m loss relating to Dutch insurance arm Delta Lloyd and partly due to “adverse investment variances” of more than £1bn, resulting from widening credit spreads on government and corporate bonds.

The company raised its full-year dividend from 25.5p to 26p.

Group chief executive Andrew Moss says: “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.” Speaking to Money Marketing following publication of the results, Aviva UK Life chief executive David Barral said the firm would keep its UK headquarters. This follows a warning from Prudential earlier this month that it could quit the UK because of Solvency II.

Barral said: “We have absolutely no plans to move our headquarters out of the UK. Aviva considers itself a British success story and we have always said the success of the group depends on being successful in our home market.

“The UK represents almost half of our group profits so we are committed here, hook, line and sinker. The group is keen to invest more in the UK.”

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