Aviva reports 26pc jump in profits

Aviva has reported a 26pc jump in profits.

The insurer today posted 2010 results showing operating profits of �2.55bn, up from �2.02bn the previous year. Global sales also rose 4pc to �47.1bn.

The positive trading follows a period in which the company has focused on profitable business and efficiency, with more than �750m cut from its costs over the past three years.

The company, which rebranded from Norwich Union in 2009, is Norwich's biggest private sector employer, with about 6,000 staff in the city.

In the UK, where the company has 19 million customers, the Norwich-based general insurance and health division delivered a strong performance, with operating profit up 8pc to �579m, following four consecutive quarters of growth.

Aviva's life business also saw significant improvement, with operating profit up 26pc to �850m.

The firm also saw growth in its North American and European markets, with life sales up in its Asia Pacific region.

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Andrew Moss, group chief executive, said the company would be investing some of the profits back into the business, and said prospects for 2011 remained bright.

He said: 'We've gone from strength to strength in 2010. In a tough external environment we've outperformed.

'Operating profits are up 26pc and we are able to reinvest in the business and pay a healthy and growing dividend.

'Over the last few years, we've grown the business, significantly reduced costs and strengthened the balance sheet.

'As a result, we've created a good platform for the next phase of growth.

'We have a clear strategy and we are meeting our customers' needs. By focusing on what we do best in the markets where we have strength and scale, we will continue to prosper in 2011.'

The company announced a 25.5p dividend per share.

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