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Aviva: 9-Month UK & Ireland Life New Business Sales Climb; Declares Dividend

Aviva plc (AV.L,AV) reported Thursday that its trading for the nine months to September 30 has been resilient with strong performances in core markets. These were partially offset by declines in manage-for-value portfolio.

UK & Ireland Life new business sales were up 40 percent to 9.2 billion pounds from last year's 6.6 billion pounds. This was principally driven by 5 billion pounds of bulk purchase annuity sales, compared to prior year's 2.1 billion pounds.

In UK Savings and Retirement, net fund flows increased 20 percent to 6.0 billion pounds, with continued positive trends in both the workplace and retail platforms.

In continental Europe and Asia, PVNBP was down 21 percent to 9.3 billion pounds due to lower with-profit volumes in France and Italy.

Amanda Blanc, Chief Executive Officer, said, "Our trading performance is robust and our financial position is strong with a capital surplus of £11.8 billion. The first nine months have demonstrated Aviva's ability to grow in core markets where we have attractive, long-term growth prospects."

Further, the company announced a new dividend policy and capital framework that align with its strategy to focus on the core markets of the UK, Ireland and Canada.

The Board has declared a 7.0 pence per share interim dividend in respect of the 2020 financial year which will be paid in January 2021. The Board currently expects to recommend a final 2020 dividend of 14 pence per share which is subject to a final decision to be taken in March 2021.

The expected 2020 total dividend of 21.0 pence per share is then expected to grow by low to mid-single digits.

Looking ahead, the company noted that trading impacts from fourth-quarter lockdowns remain uncertain and it expects no significant increase in net BI claims.

Management actions & Other is expected to be above previous guidance of 0.2 billion pounds. Further benefits from UK longevity are expected, albeit lower than in 2019.

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