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Norwich Union’s investment sales fall 34 per cent

Norwich Union’s investment sales fell 34 per cent from £657m in the first three months of 2007 to £436m in the same period this year.

The life office put this down to the challenging market conditions and the decline in sales of UK commercial property funds.

It says it is confident that property fund sales will begin to return in the second half of the year.

Life and pensions business fell 3 per cent from £2.8bn to £2.7bn over the same period and the life office says it expects UK market growth to be constrained this year.

Bond sales fell 15 per cent due to the changes in capital gains tax rules while protection sales grew 10 per cent.

Aviva group chief executive Andrew Moss says: “Our UK life business performed in line with our expectations of the life and pensions market, and we maintained both a market leading position and steady margins. We expect that UK market growth will be constrained this year, but believe that our new products and breadth of distribution will continue to position us well.

“The UK general insurance market continues to be competitive and we remained focused on profitability, and on reducing complexity in our products and processes.

“Overall, we are making good progress towards the group’s medium-term performance targets and the cost savings that we announced last year. While we expect some further short-term uncertainty in some of our markets, the strength of our balance sheet and the prudent management actions we took last year will help us ride out economic turbulence. Aviva’s diversification across geographies, distribution channels and products will continue to prove a great strength in current market conditions.”

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