Aviva new business up 18% amid group restructure

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New business at insurance giant Aviva was up 18% in the three months to 31 March, reaching £191m, according to its latest results.

The firm's interim management statement said the increase had been driven by improved profitability in the UK life business and Asian growth.

However, group CEO Mark Wilson said there was a great deal still to do to improve the firm's fortunes.

Its wide-scale restructure is ongoing, with costs this quarter of £54m.

It said internal debt had been reduced by £300m.  And operating expenses were down 10% and it said it was on track to deliver cost savings target of £400m.

The firm completed the sale of its remaining holding in Delta Lloyd, and disposed of its operations in both Russia and Malaysia, in the quarter.

Group chief executive Wilson said: "Our key measure of growth - value of new business - has increased by 18% driven by actions to improve profitability in UK life and growth in our Asian business.

"Net asset value has increased by 9% to 302 pence and our internal debt level has reduced by £300m.

"Today's results demonstrate the first steps towards delivery. I am conscious of the challenges and do not want to set expectations at an unrealistic level. Progress so far has been satisfactory and there is a great deal more we need to do for our shareholders."

Earlier this week the firm said it was to transfer 600 UK-based roles to India in a bid to cut costs.

The jobs will come from its offices in York, Sheffield and Norwich. The move is part of the restructure which will see about 2,000 staff lose their jobs globally.

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