Aviva plc 2016 Preliminary Results Announcement

09 Mar 2017

Mark Wilson, Group Chief Executive Officer, said:

Aviva’s results are simple and clear cut: more operating profit, more capital, more cash, more dividend. And there is more to come.

Aviva’s financial position has been transformed and a distinctly stronger balance sheet and excess capital give Aviva more options. We are now actively planning a capital return to our shareholders and debt reduction in 2017 and will invest further to grow our businesses.

The numbers speak for themselves. Fund management delivered a breakout year with strong positive net flows and operating profit up 30%. General insurance is growing, with operating profit up 17%1, and in UK Digital we have doubled online registrations to five million. We are becoming a digital disruptor for the benefit of our customers.

In 2016 we made strong progress on our commitments of cash flow and growth. Reflecting these results, we are increasing the total dividend per share by 12% to 23.3p.

Profit

  • Operating profit2,3 up 12% to £3,010 million (2015: £2,688 million4)
  • Operating EPS2,3 up 3% to 51.1p (2015: 49.7p4)
  • Operating profit and operating EPS exclude the impact of the change in the Ogden discount rate in UK general insurance, which has been classified as an exceptional item
  • IFRS profit after tax down 22% to £859 million (2015: £1,097 million4) including the £380 million after-tax charge due to the reduction in the Ogden discount rate

Capital

  • Solvency II capital surplus5 £11.3 billion (2015: £9.7 billion)
  • Solvency II coverage ratio5,6 of 189% (2015: 180%)
  • Solvency II operating capital generation £3.5 billion
  • Net asset value up 6% to 414p per share (2015: 390p4)
  • Holding company liquidity7 £1.8 billion (2015: £1.3 billion)

Cash

  • 2016 total dividend up 12% to 23.3p (2015: 20.8p)
  • Dividend pay-out ratio 46% (2015: 42%4), progress towards 50% target
  • Cash remittances up 20% to £1,805 million (2015: £1,507 million)

Growth

  • General insurance net written premiums3 up 15% to £8,211 million (2015: £7,171 million)
  • Life insurance value of new business up 13% to £1,352 million (2015: £1,192 million)
  • Fund management operating profit up 30% to £138 million (2015: £106 million)
  • AIMS AUM trebled to £9 billion (2015: £3 billion)
  • Total group assets under management up to £450 billion

Combined ratio

  • General insurance combined operating ratio 95.2% (2015: 94.6%) excluding the Ogden discount rate impact. Including the Ogden impact, the combined operating ratio was 101.1%.

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  1. 2016 comparatives have been rebased for the reduction in the internal loan.
  2. Operating profit is a non-GAAP measure used by management and excludes the impact of the exceptional Ogden charge. Refer to ‘Financial supplement’ for the reconciliation of Group operating profit to profit after tax - IFRS basis and refer to note B7 - Earnings per share for a reconciliation of operating earnings per share to basic earnings per share.
  3. 2016 and 2015 exclude the impact from an outward quota share reinsurance agreement written in 2015 and completed in 2016 in Aviva Insurance Limited (AIL). See note A10 for further details.
  4. Following a correction to accounting and modelling for annual management charge rebates in UK Life, prior year comparatives have been restated. This has led to an increase in operating profit and profit before tax of £23 million for full year 2015 and an increase in opening retained earnings for 2015 of £20 million with an increase in equity at 31 December 2015 of £38 million. See note B2 for further details.
  5. The estimated Solvency II position includes an estimated adverse impact of a notional reset of the transitional measure on technical provisions (‘TMTP’) to reflect interest rates at 31 December 2016. Removing this notional reset of TMTP would increase the estimated Solvency II surplus by £0.4 billion. Amortisation of TMTP since 1 January 2016 is also reflected. Also included are the proforma impacts of the disposal of Aviva’s 50% shareholding in Antarius to Sogecap expected to complete 1 April 2017 (£0.2 billion increase to surplus) and a future change to UK tax rules restricting the tax relief that can be claimed in respect of tax losses (£0.4 billion decrease to surplus).
  6. The estimated Solvency II ratio represents the shareholder view. This excludes the contribution to Group Solvency Capital Requirement (SCR) and Group Own Funds of fully ring fenced with-profits funds £2.9 billion (2015: £2.7 billion) and staff pension schemes in surplus £1.1 billion (2015: £0.7 billion) - these exclusions have no impact on Solvency II surplus.
  7. As at the end of February in 2017 and 2016 respectively.

Key financial metrics

Operating profit

 2016
£m
Restated1
2015
£m
Sterling%
change
Life business 2,642 2,442 8%
General insurance and health 833 765 9%
Fund management 138 106 30%
Other2 (603) (625) 4%
Total3,4 3,010 2,688 12%
Operating earnings per share3,4,5 51.1p 49.7p 3%

Cash remittances and Operating capital generation: Solvency II basis

 20162015
 Cash
Remittances
£m
Operating
Capital
Generation
£bn
Cash
Remittances
£m
Operating
Capital
Generation6
£bn
United Kingdom & Ireland Life 1,096 2.5 667  
United Kingdom & Ireland General Insurance and Health 91 0.3 358  
Europe 449 1.0 431  
Canada 130 0.3 6  
Asia, Aviva Investors & Other 39 (0.6) 45  
Total 1,805 3.5 1,507  

Expenses

 2016
£m
Restated1
2015
£m
Sterling%
change
Operating expenses 3,408 3,030 12%
Integration & restructuring costs 212 379 (44)%
Expense base 3,620 3,409 6%
Operating expense ratio1 50.5% 49.8% 0.7pp

Value of new business: MCEV basis

 2016
£m
2015
£m
Sterling%
Change7
Constant currency%
Change7
United Kingdom & Ireland 695 625 11% 11%
France 224 198 13%
Poland8 65 65 (1)% (9)%
Italy 124 79 58% 39%
Spain 42 31 33% 18%
Turkey 25 27 (7)% (9)%
Asia 148 151 (2)% (11)%
Aviva Investors 29 16 77% 77%
Total 1,352 1,192 13% 8%

General insurance combined operating ratio

 2016 excluding Ogden920162015Change
United Kingdom & Ireland 94.9% 106.3% 95.0% 11.3pp
Europe 95.8% 95.8% 95.4% 0.4pp
Canada 94.6% 94.6% 93.8% 0.8pp
Combined operating ratio 95.2% 101.1% 94.6% 6.5pp

IFRS Profit after tax

 2016
£m
Restated1 2015
£m
Sterling%
change
IFRS profit after tax3 859 1,097 (22)%
Basic earnings per share3 15.3p 23.1p (34)%

Dividend

 20162015Sterling%
change
Final dividend per share 15.88p 14.05p 13%
Total dividend per share 23.30p 20.80p 12%

Capital position

 20162015Sterling%
change
Estimated Solvency II cover ratio10,11 189% 180% 9.0pp
Estimated Solvency II surplus11 £11.3bn £9.7bn 16%
Net asset value per share (restated)1 414p 390p 6%
  1. Following a correction to accounting and modelling for annual management charge rebates in UK Life, prior year comparatives have been restated. This has led to an increase in operating profit and profit before tax of £23 million for full year 2015 and an increase in opening retained earnings for 2015 of £20 million with an increase in equity at 31 December 2015 of £38 million. See note B2 for further details.
  2. Other includes other operations, corporate centre costs and group debt and other interest costs.
  3. Operating profit is a non-GAAP measure used by management and excludes the impact of the exceptional Ogden charge. Refer to ‘Financial supplement’ for the reconciliation of Group operating profit to profit after tax – IFRS basis and refer to B7 – Earnings per share for a reconciliation of operating earnings per share to basic earnings per share.
  4. 2016 and 2015 exclude the impact from an outward quota share reinsurance agreement written in 2015 and completed in 2016 in Aviva Insurance Limited (AIL). See note A10 for further details.
  5. Operating EPS is shown net of tax, non-controlling interests, preference dividends, and coupon payments in respect of direct capital instrument (DCI) and tier 1 notes (net of tax).
  6. Operating capital generation was calculated on a Solvency II basis for the first time in 2016. No comparatives are available for 2015.
  7. Currency movements are calculated using unrounded numbers so minor rounding differences may exist.
  8. Poland includes Lithuania.
  9. Excludes the impact of the change in the Ogden discount rate.
  10. The estimated Solvency II ratio represents the shareholder view. This excludes the contribution to Group Solvency Capital Requirement (SCR) and Group Own Funds of fully ring fenced with-profits funds, £2.9 billion (2015: £2.7 billion) and staff pension schemes in surplus, £1.1 billion (2015: £0.7 billion) - these exclusions have no impact on Solvency II surplus.
  11. The estimated Solvency II position includes an estimated adverse impact of a notional reset of the transitional measure on technical provisions (“TMTP”) to reflect interest rates at 31 December 2016. Removing this notional reset of TMTP would increase the estimated Solvency II surplus by £0.4 billion. Amortisation of TMTP since 1 January 2016 is also reflected. Also included are the proforma impacts of the disposal of Aviva’s 50% shareholding in Antarius to Sogecap, expected to complete 1 April 2017 (£0.2 billion increase to surplus) and a future change to UK tax rules restricting the tax relief that can be claimed in respect of tax losses (£0.4 billion decrease to surplus).

Group Chief Executive Officer’s report

All references to operating profit and combined operating ratio in the Group CEO’s report exclude the 2016 impact of the change in the Ogden discount rate which has been classified as an exceptional item. See the CFO’s report for more details.

Overview

Aviva has extended its track record of growing operating profit and dividends while further enhancing balance sheet strength.

Aviva’s focused and high quality businesses are delivering growth. Operating profit1 gained 12% to £3,010 million (2015: £2,688 million2), operating capital generation was particularly strong at £3.5 billion and business unit cash remittances increased 20% to £1.8 billion (2015: £1.5 billion). Our Solvency II coverage ratio3,4 rose to 189% (2015: 180%) and is now above our 150% to 180% working range.

In light of these positive operating trends, we have increased our total dividend 12% to 23.3p (2015: 20.8p). Having reached a position of surplus capital and with £1.8 billion of centre liquidity5 (2015: £1.3 billion), we are now planning additional capital returns and hybrid debt reduction during 2017.

A number of milestones were reached in 2016. We exceeded our target for the integration of Friends Life, delivering £270 million of run-rate synergies. Our UK Digital business completed development of a single customer database and increased customer registrations to 5 million. We acquired RBC General Insurance (RBCI), increasing our scale and strengthening distribution in the attractive Canadian general insurance market.

Our results demonstrate the benefits of our diversity and composite strategy. We will maintain our focus on simplifying the group, further strengthening core businesses and growing operating profits and dividends. Given the strength of our core franchises, our sustained focus on cost efficiency and capacity for capital management, we look forward with confidence.

Operating Profit

Group operating profit1 increased 12% to £3,010 million (2015: £2,688 million2) while operating EPS1 grew 3% to 51.1p (2015: 49.7p2). Operating profit growth was underpinned by strong performances from Aviva Investors, Canada, UK and Ireland General Insurance and Italy, together with an additional three month contribution from Friends Life in the UK and beneficial foreign exchange effects.

Life insurance operating profit increased 8% to £2,642 million (2015: £2,442 million2). In UK Life, operating profit benefitted from an additional quarter of Friends Life, delivery of integration synergies and growth in protection, pensions and individual annuities. This more than offset lower bulk annuity sales and reduced income from other. Operating profit from our European life businesses increased as supportive foreign exchange translation and growth in protection income offset the adverse effect of volatile financial markets in France and a regulatory asset levy in Poland. In Asia, life operating profit increased in Singapore despite the discontinuation of the DBS agreement, though this was offset by a lower contribution from FPI and investment into high growth markets such as Indonesia and Vietnam.

In general insurance and health, operating profit1 gained 16% to £833 million (2015: £719 million6). General insurance net written premiums1 increased 15% due to new distribution partnerships with Homeserve and TSB in the UK, a six month contribution from RBCI in Canada and foreign exchange benefits. The combined operating ratio was 95.2% (2015: 94.6%) with benign weather offset by higher commission strain from new partnerships and increased Government levies.

Fund management operating profit increased 30% to £138 million (2015: £106 million) reflecting higher assets under management, an increase in revenue margin and improved cost to income ratio.

Capital

At 31 December 2016, our Solvency II capital ratio3,4 was 189% (2015: 180%) with a surplus3 of £11.3 billion (2015: £9.7 billion). As the Solvency II ratio is above our 150% to 180% working range, we are actively planning to return additional capital to shareholders and reduce hybrid debt in 2017. Capital generation was exceptionally strong at £3.5 billion, with underlying generation augmented by model approvals and other adjustments that improved our position under the Solvency II regime.

Cash

Cash remittances from business units to group centre increased 20% to £1,805 million (2015: £1,507 million). This included £250 million of special remittances from UK Life in conjunction with the integration of Friends Life. Remittances from UK & Ireland General Insurance were lower at £91 million as cash generated was used to fund an increase in an internal reinsurance vehicle. At our capital markets day in July 2016, we outlined a target of £7 billion of cumulative business unit remittances in 2016 to 2018 inclusive. We remain fully committed to achieving this target.

Friends Life Integration

The Friends Life integration is now complete. At the end of 2016, we had delivered £270 million of run-rate synergies, well ahead of the original £225 million target and one year earlier than the original schedule. We have also delivered £1.0 billion of capital synergies to date, showing good progress towards our £1.2 billion target, with further benefits to come. In conjunction with these capital synergies, UK Life paid a £250 million special remittance to group centre in 2016. We continue to expect the remaining £750 million of special remittances to be paid by the end of 2018.

Oaks, Acorns and Apple Trees

At our capital markets day in July 2016, we summarised our group through a strategic lens, using the analogy of oaks, acorns and apple trees. This guides our decisions on capital allocation.

Oaks are businesses that provide consistent, sustainable growth in profits and cash. In the UK, we are planning to combine the management of our insurance businesses under the leadership of Andy Briggs7. In Canada, we completed the RBCI acquisition, enhancing our scale and strengthening our distribution. In France, we announced the sale of Antarius, our joint venture with Crédit du Nord, for approximately £425 million.

Acorn businesses accelerate long-term growth. Aviva Investors has trebled assets under management in the flagship AIMS range of funds to £9 billion. Our Asian business’ strategy is disruption. In Singapore, Aviva Financial Advisors has grown its network to 4508 since its launch in 2016, and we have recently announced our new joint venture with Tencent and Hillhouse on digital insurance in Hong Kong.

Apple trees are businesses requiring simplification and restructuring. Italy is a stand out performer among these markets, delivering strong growth in operating profits and new business sales. In Spain, we are examining options to withdraw more capital. In FPI and Taiwan, we have initiated strategic reviews.

Digital

Digital unlocks the potential of our composite business model. We will be a 320 year-old disruptor in the insurance market.

In the UK, we have built the critical infrastructure, connecting 15 million of our customers to a single database. We are rapidly scaling up the numbers of users on MyAviva, with registrations doubling to 5 million as customers respond positively to the simplicity and convenience of dealing with Aviva digitally. The next phase of our digital journey in the UK will focus on increasing the number of multi-product customers and increasing engagement with the Friends Life customer base.

We are also developing our digital capabilities in our international markets. In January 2017 we announced the sale of a 60% stake in our Hong Kong business to Tencent and Hillhouse. Together, we will launch simple digital insurance products in a market that has historically been dominated by high cost agency and bancassurance distribution channels.

Outlook

In 2016, we have simply done what we said we would; delivering growth and strengthening our balance sheet. Looking forward, we will remain focused on achieving our financial objectives: mid single digit annual growth in operating EPS; £7 billion of cumulative business unit remittances in 2016-18 inclusive; and an increase in the dividend payout ratio to 50% by the end of 2017.

Mark Wilson signature

Mark Wilson
Group Chief Executive Officer

  1. 2016 and 2015 exclude the impact from an outward quota share reinsurance agreement written in 2015 and completed in 2016 in Aviva Insurance Limited (AIL). See note A10 for further details.
  2. Following a correction to accounting and modelling for annual management charge rebates in UK Life, prior year comparatives have been restated. This has led to an increase in operating profit and profit before tax of £23 million for full year 2015 and an increase in opening retained earnings for 2015 of £20 million with an increase in equity at 31 December 2015 of £38 million. See note B2 for further details.
  3. The estimated Solvency II position includes an estimated adverse impact of a notional reset of the transitional measure on technical provisions (“TMTP”) to reflect interest rates at 31 December 2016. Removing this notional reset of TMTP would increase the estimated Solvency II surplus by £0.4 billion. Amortisation of TMTP since 1 January 2016 is also reflected. Also included are the proforma impacts of the disposal of Aviva’s 50% shareholding in Antarius to Sogecap expected to complete on 1 April 2017 (£0.2 billion increase to surplus) and a future change to UK tax rules restricting the tax relief that can be claimed in respect of tax losses (£0.4 billion decrease to surplus).
  4. The estimated Solvency II ratio represents the shareholder view. This excludes the contribution to Group Solvency Capital Requirement (SCR) and Group Own Funds of fully ring fenced with-profits funds, £2.9 billion (2015: £2.7 billion) and staff pension schemes in surplus, £1.1 billion (2015: £0.7 billion) – these exclusions have no impact on Solvency II surplus.
  5. As at the end of February in 2017 and 2016 respectively.
  6. 2016 comparatives have been rebased for the reduction in the internal loan.
  7. Subject to regulatory approval.
  8. As at 30 January 2017.

Chief Financial Officer’s report

Overview

Aviva has delivered another year of progress in 2016. We have grown operating profit, significantly strengthened Solvency II capital surplus and increased cash remittances. Reflecting these financial results and in view of our confidence in the outlook for Aviva, the Board of Directors has proposed a 12% increase in our total shareholder dividend in 2016 to 23.3p.

Operating profit1 increased 12% to £3,010 million (2015: £2,688 million2). Growth in operating profit was underpinned by strong performances from UK and Ireland General Insurance, Canada and Aviva Investors, while UK Life benefitted from a full-year contribution from Friends Life and improved cost efficiency from realised integration synergies. After incorporating an increase in weighted average shares on issue arising from the Friends Life acquisition, operating EPS1 increased 3% to 51.1p (2015: 49.7p2).

Operating profit excludes the impact of the reduction in the Ogden discount rate (£475 million, 2015: nil). The Lord Chancellor’s and subsequent Chancellor of the Exchequer’s statements confirm that a consultation will be launched in the coming weeks that will allow the Government to consider the methodology for setting the discount rate. This gives rise to uncertainty with respect to the ultimate level of claims payable and we believe the volatility in our operating profit arising from the “catch up” impact on prior year claims coupled with the potential impact from a subsequent adjustment to the discount rate in 2017 or 2018 would provide a distorted view of the group’s year to year financial performance. Our target of paying a progressive dividend with a dividend payout ratio of 50% of operating EPS for 2017 remains, and we have maintained the alignment of our dividend trajectory and operating EPS by treating the Ogden impact as an exceptional item.

IFRS profit after tax was £859 million in 2016, down from £1,097 million2 in 2015. This includes a £380 million after-tax charge due to the reduction in the Ogden discount rate. Integration and restructure costs declined to £212 million (2015: £379 million) but remained elevated as we completed the Friends Life and RBCI integrations. Investment variances were £(381) million (2015: £(170) million). Net asset value per share rose 6% to 414p (2015: 390p2) as operating profits, foreign exchange gains and increase in IAS 19 pension surplus offset the Ogden charge, negative investment variances and higher amortisation expenses.

The Solvency II coverage ratio increased to 189%3,4 (2015: 180%). Operating capital generation was £3.5 billion in 2016, comprising £4.0 billion generated by our business units, net of £0.5 billion of debt interest, head office and other costs. Operating capital generation included benefits from non-recurring items such as approved model changes as we optimised capital for Solvency II. Remittances from our business units were £1.8 billion (2015: £1.5 billion) and excess centre cash-flow was £0.9 billion (2015: £0.7 billion).

Our financial results in 2016 demonstrated the benefits of Aviva’s diversity and the strength of our franchises. We continue to target consistent mid-single digit growth in operating EPS over the medium term.

Business Unit Performance

UK and Ireland Life increased operating profit 7% to £1,555 million (2015: £1,455 million2). In the UK, operating profit was £1,523 million (2015: £1,431 million2) reflecting a full year contribution from Friends Life (acquired April 2015), integration synergies and growth in sales and managed assets. Our core growth engines in UK Life all delivered strong momentum. Operating profit from long term savings increased 39% to £142 million (2015: £102 million), protection grew 52% to £242 million (2015: £159 million) and retirement (annuities and equity release) gained 26% to £656 million (2015: £519 million). These were partially offset by a modest reduction in legacy profits to £332 million (2015: £341 million) and a 51% reduction in income from other to £151 million (2015: £310 million). In Ireland, life insurance operating profit increased 33% to £32 million.

Aviva Investors delivered 32% growth in fund management operating profit to £139 million (2015: £105 million). Revenue increased 12% to £506 million driven by increased external new business flow, significantly increased origination of infrastructure and other illiquid assets primarily for Aviva and completion of on-boarding of Friends Life assets. Operating expenses increased 6% to £367 million reflecting continued investment in the business. Assets under management increased 19% to £345 billion (2015: £290 billion) due to positive net flows, the inward transfer of a further £14 billion of Friends Life assets and positive market returns.

Excluding the exceptional charge associated with the change in the Ogden discount rate, operating profit1 from UK and Ireland General Insurance and Health increased by 23% to £471 million (2015: £384 million5). In UK general insurance, net written premiums1 increased 7% due to new distribution relationships with Homeserve and TSB. Excluding the exceptional Ogden discount rate impact, the combined operating ratio of the UK business remained relatively stable at 95.3% in 2016 (2015: 95.1%) with lower weather claims and the positive effect of portfolio re-balancing and cost initiatives offsetting the Flood Re levy and commission strain from new distribution partnerships. In Ireland, general insurance operating profits increased to £41 million (2015: £30 million) reflecting strong growth in net written premiums (19% in local currency) and an improvement in combined operating ratio to 91.2% (2015: 94.6%). Operating profit from Health increased 19% to £38 million (2015: £32 million) due to a 30% improvement in underwriting profit to £35 million.

Europe responded well to challenging market conditions by delivering resilient results in 2016. Operating profit fell 3% in local currency terms but benefitted from foreign currency translation to reach £964 million (2015: £880 million). In France, operating profit fell 5% in constant currency terms to £499 million (2015: £466 million) due to weak investment markets, an increase in weather claims in general insurance and higher operating expenses. Italy increased operating profits by 9% in constant currency to £212 million (2015: £172 million) as a result of growing sales volumes and improved margins in life insurance. In Poland, the underlying performance remained solid, though the cost of the financial sector asset levy implemented by the Polish Government caused operating profits to decline 7% in local currency to £140 million (2015: £139 million).

Canada delivered operating profit of £269 million (2015: £214 million), an increase of 16% in local currency terms. Net written premiums increased 14% in local currency to £2,453 million (2015: £1,992 million) and benefitted from a six-month contribution from the acquired RBCI business. The underwriting result increased to £168 million (2015: £120 million) with higher premium volumes associated with the acquisition of RBCI more than offsetting a modest increase in the combined operating ratio to 94.6% (2015: 93.8%).

In Asia, operating profit fell 8% in constant currency terms to £228 million (2015: £238 million) reflecting the discontinuation of the DBS bancassurance relationship, lower profits from Friends Provident International and investment into nascent markets such as Indonesia and Vietnam. The Singapore and Hong Kong businesses have repositioned and are pursuing innovative and disruptive distribution strategies.

Capital management

At the end of 2016, our Solvency II coverage ratio3,4 was 189% (2015: 180%), above the top end of our 150-180% working range. The Solvency II surplus3 increased to £11.3 billion (2015: £9.7 billion) as exceptionally strong operating capital generation of £3.5 billion (of which £1.7 billion underlying) was only partially offset by negative variances from investment market fluctuations and dividend payments to shareholders.

Included within 2016 operating capital generation were a number of initiatives such as Friends Life capital synergies and approved model changes that improved our position under the new Solvency II regime. In total, these accounted for approximately £1.8 billion of capital generation. While there remain opportunities for further Solvency II optimisation and capital synergies, the contribution from such actions is likely to be lower in the future than was the case in 2016.

In view of our strong Solvency II ratio, there is now capacity to deploy surplus capital. In addition to underpinning a progressive dividend, we have four priorities for capital deployment:

  1. Organic growth, including capital required to support new distribution partnerships;
  2. Bolt-on acquisitions that strengthen our core markets;
  3. Returning capital to shareholders, via a share re-purchase program or special dividend; and
  4. Paying down hybrid debt obligations.

These priorities are not mutually exclusive and we expect to pursue all of these options. Specifically, we plan to take steps to return additional capital to shareholders and reduce hybrid debt during 2017. Liquidity at the centre is £1.8 billion at the end of February 2017 (February 2016: £1.3 billion). We generally intend to maintain centre liquidity balances in excess of £1 billion.

While capital return options are now on our current agenda, we continue to invest in our businesses, with organic priorities being digital, fund management and general insurance. In 2016, we acquired RBCI, increasing the scale of our Canadian business and strengthening our distribution. We also established partnerships with Homeserve and TSB to expand our UK General Insurance business. We will continue to consider bolt-on acquisitions and distribution partnerships that grow operating profit and strengthen our position in core markets.

Outlook

Our three financial targets are to deliver mid-single digit percentage growth in operating EPS over the medium term, for our business units to remit £7 billion of cash to group centre in 2016 to 2018 inclusive and to increase our dividend payout ratio to 50% by the end of 2017, following which the dividend trajectory is expected to align with growth in operating EPS. We remain confident that we can deliver on these objectives.

Thomas D. Stoddard signature

Thomas D. Stoddard
Chief Financial Officer

  1. 2016 and 2015 exclude the impact from an outward quota share reinsurance agreement written in 2015 and completed in 2016 in Aviva Insurance Limited (AIL). See note A10 for further details.
  2. Following a correction to accounting and modelling for annual management charge rebates in UK Life, prior year comparatives have been restated. This has led to an increase in operating profit and profit before tax of £23 million for full year 2015 and an increase in opening retained earnings for 2015 of £20 million with an increase in equity at 31 December 2015 of £38 million. See note B2 for further details.
  3. The estimated Solvency II position includes an estimated adverse impact of a notional reset of the transitional measure on technical provisions (“TMTP”) to reflect interest rates at 31 December 2016. Removing this notional reset of TMTP would increase the estimated Solvency II surplus by £0.4 billion. Amortisation of TMTP since 1 January 2016 is also reflected. Also included are the proforma impacts of the disposal of Aviva’s 50% shareholding in Antarius to Sogecap expected to complete on 1 April 2017 (£0.2 billion increase to surplus) and a future change to UK tax rules restricting the tax relief that can be claimed in respect of tax losses (£0.4 billion decrease to surplus).
  4. The estimated solvency II ratio represents the shareholder view. This excludes the contribution to Group Solvency Capital Requirement (SCR) and Group Own Funds of fully ring fenced with-profits funds £2.9 billion (2015: £2.7 billion) and staff pension schemes in surplus £1.1 billion (2015: £0.7 billion) – these exclusions have no impact on Solvency II surplus
  5. 2016 comparatives have been rebased for the reduction in the internal loan

Notes to editors

All comparators are for the full year 2015 position unless otherwise stated.

Income and expenses of foreign entities are translated at average exchange rates while their assets and liabilities are translated at the closing rates on 31 December 2016. The average rates employed in this announcement are 1 euro = £0.82 (12 months to 31 December 2015: 1 euro = £0.72) and CAD$1 = £0.56 (12 months to 31 December 2015: CAD$1 = £0.51).

Growth rates in the press release have been provided in sterling terms unless stated otherwise. The following supplement presents this information on both a sterling and constant currency basis.

Cautionary statements:

This should be read in conjunction with the documents distributed by Aviva plc (the “Company” or “Aviva”) through the Regulatory News Service (RNS). This announcement contains, and we may make other verbal or written “forward-looking statements” with respect to certain of Aviva’s plans and current goals and expectations relating to future financial condition, performance, results, strategic initiatives and objectives. Statements containing the words “believes”, “intends”, “expects”, “projects”, “plans”, “will,” “seeks”, “aims”, “may”, “could”, “outlook”, “likely”, “target”, “goal”, “guidance”, “trends”, “future”, “estimates”, “potential” and “anticipates”, and words of similar meaning, are forward-looking. By their nature, all forward-looking statements involve risk and uncertainty. Accordingly, there are or will be important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated in these statements. Aviva believes factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated in forward-looking statements in the announcement include, but are not limited to: the impact of ongoing difficult conditions in the global financial markets and the economy generally; the impact of simplifying our operating structure and activities; the impact of various local and international political, regulatory and economic conditions; market developments and government actions (including those arising from the referendum on UK membership of the European Union); the effect of credit spread volatility on the net unrealised value of the investment portfolio; the effect of losses due to defaults by counterparties, including potential sovereign debt defaults or restructurings, on the value of our investments; changes in interest rates that may cause policyholders to surrender their contracts, reduce the value of our portfolio and impact our asset and liability matching; the impact of changes in short or long-term inflation; the impact of changes in equity or property prices on our investment portfolio; fluctuations in currency exchange rates; the effect of market fluctuations on the value of options and guarantees embedded in some of our life insurance products and the value of the assets backing their reserves; the amount of allowances and impairments taken on our investments; the effect of adverse capital and credit market conditions on our ability to meet liquidity needs and our access to capital; changes in, or restrictions on, our ability to initiate capital management initiatives; changes in or inaccuracy of assumptions in pricing and reserving for insurance business (particularly with regard to mortality and morbidity trends, lapse rates and policy renewal rates), longevity and endowments; a cyclical downturn of the insurance industry; the impact of natural and man-made catastrophic events on our business activities and results of operations; our reliance on information and technology and third-party service providers for our operations and systems; the inability of reinsurers to meet obligations or unavailability of reinsurance coverage; increased competition in the UK and in other countries where we have significant operations; regulatory approval of extension of use of the Group’s internal model for calculation of regulatory capital under the European Union’s Solvency II rules; the impact of actual experience differing from estimates used in valuing and amortising deferred acquisition costs (“DAC”) and acquired value of in-force business (“AVIF”); the impact of recognising an impairment of our goodwill or intangibles with indefinite lives; changes in valuation methodologies, estimates and assumptions used in the valuation of investment securities; the effect of legal proceedings and regulatory investigations; the impact of operational risks, including inadequate or failed internal and external processes, systems and human error or from external events (including cyber attack); risks associated with arrangements with third parties, including joint ventures; our reliance on third-party distribution channels to deliver our products; funding risks associated with our participation in defined benefit staff pension schemes; the failure to attract or retain the necessary key personnel; the effect of systems errors or regulatory changes on the calculation of unit prices or deduction of charges for our unit-linked products that may require retrospective compensation to our customers; the effect of fluctuations in share price as a result of general market conditions or otherwise; the effect of simplifying our operating structure and activities; the effect of a decline in any of our ratings by rating agencies on our standing among customers, broker-dealers, agents, wholesalers and other distributors of our products and services; changes to our brand and reputation; changes in government regulations or tax laws in jurisdictions where we conduct business, including decreased demand for annuities in the UK due to changes in UK law; the inability to protect our intellectual property; the effect of undisclosed liabilities, integration issues and other risks associated with our acquisitions; and the timing/regulatory approval impact, integration risk and other uncertainties, such as non-realisation of expected benefits or diversion of management attention and other resources, relating to announced acquisitions and pending disposals and relating to future acquisitions, combinations or disposals within relevant industries; the policies, decisions and actions of government or regulatory authorities in the UK, the EU, the US or elsewhere, including the implementation of key legislation and regulation. For a more detailed description of these risks, uncertainties and other factors, please see ‘Other information – Shareholder Information – Risks relating to our business’ in Aviva’s most recent Annual Report. Aviva undertakes no obligation to update the forward looking statements in this announcement or any other forward-looking statements we may make. Forward-looking statements in this presentation are current only as of the date on which such statements are made.

Aviva plc is a company registered in England No. 2468686.
Registered office
St Helen’s
1 Undershaft
London
EC3P 3DQ

Contacts

Investor contacts

Chris Esson
+44 (0)20 7662 8115

Diane Michelberger
+44 (0)20 7662 0911

Media contacts

Nigel Prideaux
+44 (0)20 7662 0215

Andrew Reid
+44 (0)20 7662 3131

Sarah Swailes
+44 (0)20 7662 6700

Timings

Presentation slides: 07:00 hrs GMT
www.aviva.com

Real time media conference call: 07:45 hrs GMT

Analyst presentation: 09:00 hrs GMT

Live webcast: 09:00 hrs GMT
http://www.avivawebcast.com/prelim2016/

Download the full announcement PDF (1.95MB)