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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 August 2006, 06:39 GMT 07:39 UK
Aviva profits up on world demand
Norwich Union office
Aviva, owner of Norwich Union, has been expanding abroad
The UK's biggest UK insurer Aviva has posted a 27% jump in half-year profits boosted by life insurance sales and the purchase of breakdown firm RAC.

Aviva, which also owns Norwich Union, said operating profit rose to 1.7bn from 1.32bn a year earlier.

The company said it had seen good growth across most of its main markets, with UK sales up 43%, European sales 10% higher and the US adding 24%.

Aviva also confirmed it was planning to raise its dividend by 10%.

Last month, Aviva agreed to buy US rival Amerus for 1.6bn as it looks to expand in the world's largest insurance market.

"Looking to the future, Europe and the US will be the two biggest long-term savings markets over the next decade," said Aviva boss Richard Harvey.

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