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Last Updated: Thursday, 2 March 2006, 08:12 GMT
Insurer Aviva sees profits surge
Aviva CEO Richard Harvey
Aviva's Richard Harvey is bullish about the company's prospects
Insurer Aviva has reported a jump in annual profits, saying it is confident about growth for the coming year.

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.

Growth gains

Aviva has expanded its operations and bought businesses including motoring company RAC.

We made real progress in continental Europe... and we've gained good ground in the developing markets of Asia
Richard Harvey, Aviva CEO

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."

Aviva increases profit forecast
18 Oct 05 |  Business
RAC call centre staff cut by half
29 Sep 05 |  Bristol/Somerset
Norwich Union cuts 330 RAC jobs
15 Aug 05 |  Business
RAC bought by insurer for 1.1bn
09 Mar 05 |  Business
Aviva confident of growth in 2005
25 Jan 05 |  Business
Pension sales help to lift Aviva
29 Oct 04 |  Business

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