May 27, 2021 (London, UK) - To read this update in full, click here.
Record quarterly Savings & Retirement net flows and highest Q1 sales1 in General Insurance for a decade
- Core Life PVNBP of £8.3bn (Q120: £8.3bn) with growth in Savings & Retirement and lower volumes of Annuities & Equity Release in a subdued market compared to a strong start in 2020
- Core General Insurance gross written premiums (GWP) up 4% to £2.0bn (Q120: £1.9bn) and COR 90.6% (Q120: 118.7%)
Strategic delivery with 8 businesses sold for £7.5bn with proceeds expected by end of 2021
- Now completed disposals of Aviva Vita and Turkey and signed the Sale & Purchase Agreement in France following conclusion of the consultation processes
- Substantial return of capital to shareholders following completion of the announced transactions
Significant financial strength
- Solvency II shareholder cover ratio of 209% (FY20: 202%) and centre liquidity (Apr 21) of £2.9bn (Feb 21: £4.1bn)
- Solvency II debt leverage ratio of 28% (FY20: 31%) reflecting successful £1bn tender in Q121 with a further reduction of 2% reflecting £0.9bn of upcoming maturities expected in the second quarter
Greater focus on improving the performance of the business
- Core controllable costs2 (excluding cost reduction implementation and IFRS 17 costs) of £720m (Q120: £725m) on track to achieve savings of £300m relative to our 2018 baseline in 2022
- Investment in organic growth and simplifying the business where we see clear benefits for shareholders
Amanda Blanc, Group Chief Executive Officer, said:
“We made very good progress in the first quarter. We concluded the refocus of our portfolio, selling eight non-core businesses which will generate total cash proceeds of £7.5 billion once completed. We have made excellent headway in reducing leverage with debt reduction of £1.9 billion in the first half of 2021 and we expect the leverage ratio to be around 26% at the half year.
We are now focused on improving the growth and profitability of our businesses in the UK, Ireland, Canada and Aviva Investors. We are pleased with the growing momentum in key areas as we capitalise on our leading market positions. Net flows in Savings & Retirement increased by 31% and Aviva Investors is seeing improving flows and investment performance. Demand for bulk purchase annuities was subdued in the first quarter but we have seen a good start to the second quarter. Sales1 in commercial insurance continue to grow strongly, up 13% in the UK and 6% in Canada, while in UK personal lines we maintained premiums while growing market share.
We have continued to support our customers dealing with COVID, including extending cover and deferring monthly payments for those experiencing financial difficulty.
Our positive trading performance in the first quarter of 2021 reinforces our confidence in the targets we announced earlier in the year. Nevertheless, we remain sharply focused on further improving performance, recognising we still have much more to do, to deliver stronger returns for our shareholders."
1References to sales represent present value of new business premiums (PVNBP) for our life business and gross written premiums (GWP) for our general insurance business, which are APMs and further information can be found in the 'Other information' section of the Preliminary Announcement 2020. Reference to record Q1 sales refers to core GI markets in the UK, Ireland and Canada.
2Core controllable costs include core markets (including Aviva Investors discontinued operations in France and Poland), corporate centre and other Group operations.
*This announcement contains inside information. The person responsible for making this announcement on behalf of the Group is Kirstine Cooper (Group Company Secretary).