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NU sales rise by 11%

Norwich Union saw an 11 per cent increase in first-half UK life and pension business to £6.7bn in equivalent premium income from £6.3bn last year and now claims it has a 12 per cent market share.

Operating profits for Aviva, which owns NU, edged up to £979m from £977m last year. The company claims its business is robust enough to withstand current market turbulence.

Operating profits for NU fell to £424m from £465m last year, which it blames on stockmarket falls.

NU says it has a free-asset ratio of 14.1 per cent, with 4 per cent attributable to future profits, based on the FSA&#39s relaxed resilience test.

It believes it is well placed to capitalise on the opportunities for large-scale multi-distribution after depolarisation.

Sales through NU&#39s partnership with Royal Bank of Scotland more than tripled to £45.4m from £14.3m last year.

However, IFAs continue to be the company&#39s key distribution channel, with life and pension sales up by 8 per cent to £505m from £467m EPI. NU claims it has 20 per cent of the stakeholder market and a third of IFA stakeholder sales.

It values its inherited estates at £4.7bn at the end of June and says reattribution of the estate will not be completed before 2004.

Aviva group chief executive Richard Harvey says: “The current environment presents a challenge to many of our businesses in the short term. However, the longer-term dynamics for our business remain unaltered. We have built our long-term savings businesses so that they are well-placed with their multi-distribution channels and broad range of products to meet the needs of our customers.”

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