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General, health insurance help Aviva to H1 profit beat

by Uma
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General, health insurance help Aviva to H1 profit beat

LONDON (Reuters) -British insurer Aviva posted an 8% rise in first-half operating profit to 715 million pounds ($909 million) on Wednesday, helped by strong performance in general and health insurance that could boost full-year numbers by as much as 7%.

Analysts in a company-compiled consensus poll had forecast operating profit of 701 million pounds, while Aviva estimated full-year 2023 operating profit growth of 5-7%.

“We expect to exceed our financial targets and we are making progress each quarter,” CEO Amanda Blanc said in a statement.

The company said it would pay an interim dividend of 11.1 pence, up 8% and against a forecast 11 pence.

General insurance operating profit rose by 29% to 470 million pounds, reflecting strong performance in all of Aviva’s main regions of Britain, Canada and Ireland along with higher investment income.

Sales in private health insurance rose by 58% for both individual and corporate customers, with Aviva pointing to pressure on public health services helping to drive demand.

But profits in the insurer’s wealth and retirement business dropped 13% to 436 million pounds following additional investment in its wealth unit.

Aviva Investors saw external net inflows of 190 million pounds.

($1 = 0.7865 pounds)

(Reporting by Carolyn Cohn, editing by Sinead Cruise)