Insurer Aviva has reported a jump in annual profits, saying it is confident about growth for the coming year.
Aviva's Richard Harvey is bullish about the company's prospects
The firm, which owns Norwich Union, said global operating profit rose 29% to £2.9bn ($5.1bn) in 2005, beating market forecasts.
The company has been cutting costs by moving services abroad and expanding businesses such as fund management, where its profit more than doubled.
Aviva also raised its final dividend by a more-than-expected 7.5% to 27.27p.
Aviva has expanded its operations and bought businesses including motoring company RAC.
Increased sales of life and general insurance policies also boosted growth.
At the same time, Aviva has moved a number of operations to India, helping it cut running costs.
"We are confident of delivering further growth from our businesses in 2006," said Richard Harvey, group chief executive.
"We made real progress in continental Europe where our long-term savings businesses performed well and we've gained good ground in the developing markets of Asia," he said.
"We will continue to evaluate new distribution and acquisition opportunities to provide additional momentum where we can create shareholder value."