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Aviva UK life profits in 7% first-half fall

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Aviva’s UK life business saw operating profits fall 7 per cent from £469m in the first six months of 2012 to £438m this year.

The global business saw pre-tax profits grow 5 per cent, from £959m to £1bn, on the back of a cost-cutting programme.

Aviva says UK life operating profits would have grown 11 per cent without one-off costs of £74m associated with an acquisition that did not take place. It saved £50m from cost-cutting and higher prices.

UK group protection business grew but some individual protection business fell.

In terms of total funds under management, its UK savings business increased by 9 per cent to £50.3bn, driven by “market movements”.

The value of new life business grew 16 per cent in the UK to £211m driven chiefly by “re-pricing” of annuities.

The results also admit Aviva investors has under-performed with senior management demanding ti plays a more prominent role as a “turnaround business”.

Chief executive Mark Wilson says: “I am committed to achieving for investors what we set out to do: turning around the company to unlock the considerable value in Aviva.”

Murphy Financial associate partner Adrian Murphy says: “It hasn’t found its position post-RDR. On life and pensions it is still in the dark ages and it has a lot of work to do before it gets into the more sophisticated end of the market.”

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