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  • Aviva profit is $2 billion with goal of U.S. growth

    March 5, 2010 by Karen Mracek

    By KAREN MRACEK • kmracek@dmreg.com • March 5, 2010

    Aviva PLC reported a return to annual profits Thursday and reinforced its commitment to grow in the U.S. market.

    The British insurer reported a net profit of almost $2 billion, compared with a loss in the previous year. Operating profits fell 12 percent to $3.04 billion in 2009.

    “The decline in financial markets at the end of 2008 put predictable downward pressure on our operating earnings,” Chief Executive Andrew Moss said in a statement, “but, to a significant degree, we have been able to counteract this through the actions we have taken to make Aviva’s business more resilient by reducing costs and operating more efficiently.”

    Aviva USA, based in Des Moines, reported a 43 percent increase in operating profit from the previous year, to $320 million, as the company worked to improve its interest margin on equity indexed products.

    “Having successfully doubled the scale of our U.S. business a year ahead of plan, in 2009, we focused on the profitability of the business we write by moderating the pace of annuity sales and growing our protection business,” the company said.

    Life insurance and pension new business value were down 20 percent in 2009 for Aviva USA, to $6.8 billion. But U.S. life protection sales were up 19 percent. “This growth reflects the work we have done to enhance our relationships with key distributors,” the company said.

    The announcement reiterated a desire to grow in the U.S. life insurance and savings market.

    “As the U.S. economy begins to recover, we anticipate a growing demand for products which guarantee the security of the customer’s original investment, and we want to be able to capture that demand, without compromising our desire for improved profitability,” the company said.

    Shares of Aviva closed down 3.5 percent at $11.47 Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange.

    Originally Posted at Des Moines Register on March 5, 2010 by Karen Mracek.

    Categories: Industry Articles
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