UK insurer Aviva has reported an operating profit of £1.46bn in 2023, a 9% increase from £1.35bn in 2022.  

The growth was attributed to the general insurance businesses across the UK, Ireland and Canada. 

Aviva’s general insurance segment saw a 35% rise in operating profit, amounting to £851m, due to enhanced investment income and robust underwriting results. 

General insurance premiums in the 12 months to December 2023 stood at £10.89bn, up 13% compared with £9.75bn in the previous year. 

In the UK and Ireland, general insurance premiums logged a 16% year-on-year increase, reaching £6.64bn.  

UK personal lines premiums soared by 24%, benefitting from stringent rate discipline amidst an inflationary environment and the introduction of new insurance propositions. 

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The UK commercial lines premiums also saw a 10% increase, the result of rate adjustments and the acquisition of new business.  

In Canada, general insurance premiums rose by 10% to £4.24bn, with commercial lines rising by 13% and personal lines by 9%, driven by rate increases and strong new business growth. 

Protection and health sales witnessed a 16% rise, with health sales alone jumping by 41%, and individual protection also contributing to the growth.  

However, the operating profit in this segment fell by 32% to £118m from £174m in 2022, primarily due to adverse mortality experience and a smaller benefit from assumption changes compared with 2022. 

Aviva has also initiated a new share buyback programme worth £300m.  

Furthermore, the insurer announced a final dividend per share of 22.3p, taking the total dividend for 2023 to 33.4p, an 8% rise from the prior year.  

By 2026, Aviva is aiming for an operating profit of £2bn.  

Aviva CEO Amanda Blanc said: “We have made significant progress in 2023. Sales are up, costs are down, and operating profit is 9% higher. Our position as the UK’s leading diversified insurer, with major businesses in Canada and Ireland, is clearly delivering. We have generated strong organic growth, especially in our capital-light businesses, which make up over half our portfolio. 

“Aviva is financially strong. We are trading consistently well. Our prospects have never been better. We have leading businesses in growing markets, a fantastic brand, and we are investing substantially to make service better for our 19 million customers. All the ingredients are in place to ensure Aviva continues to deliver an outstanding performance for our customers and our shareholders.”