Amanda Blanc's 2022 half year results video

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Transcript  for video Amanda Blanc's 2022 half year results video

Jenny Bruce

Hi, Amanda. Thank you so much for having me here to talk about the results with you today.

How are you?

Amanda Blanc

I'm good, thanks. Jenny, how are you?

Jenny Bruce

I'm really well, thank you. So, are we making the progress that you'd hoped for at this stage of the year?

Amanda Blanc

Well, yeah, I actually think that we are, Jenny. And that is largely due to the fantastic work that's done by you and all of your colleagues at Aviva. And I can't thank them enough for the hard work that they've put in in the first six months of this year.

So, I think if I reflect back over the period, we've made some really strong progress and there’s really good momentum in the business and I think you can see that in the growth, in insurance, the growth in the wealth business and the growth in the retirement business, which I think puts us in a really, really strong position.

We made some difficult decisions two years ago when we refocused the portfolio, but I think you're really starting to see the benefit of those decisions now coming through in the performance of the business.

And we're much better at managing the performance of the business as well. I think the performance culture in the business is really strong.

And so whilst I know we look out at a very difficult macro environment, Aviva is in a very, very good position to be able to work through that and I think we'll come out of that very strongly and I'm very confident about the outlook.

Jenny Bruce

It'd be great to know what the half-year highlights are for you.

Amanda Blanc

So, as I reflect on the first half, I think if we look at the sales performance of the business, that's strong. The operating profit of the business is also up and so that's a strong performance for us. And I put that down to the diversified nature of the business.

We are in a strong competitive position holding as we do number one positions in many of our product lines in the UK, Ireland and Canada.

And of course, the capital position of the business is strong. There are two things to talk about there.

Firstly, today we announced that the interim dividend is in line with the guidance that we gave back in March, and secondly, that we anticipate launching a share buyback with the full year results in March 2023.

And I think, Jenny, this shows the confidence that we have in the business.

Jenny Bruce

So, you've talked about our four strategic priorities. Can you tell me a bit about how we're progressing in each of those?

Amanda Blanc

Yes. So, let's talk about customer first.

So obviously, the customer's at the heart of what we do here at Aviva. We have over 18 and a half million customers across the UK, Ireland and Canada. That's a lot of customers to look after and we take that responsibility very seriously.

You will remember in February of this year there were three storms which happened very quickly in the UK, and we had 19,000 claims from those storms and obviously our customers really needed us at that point and we were there for them, and we were able to actually settle 10% of claims on the first day, which I think is real testament to our colleagues, but also a testament to One Aviva, because our Aviva Canada team were able to step in and help the UK team to make sure that we were able to do that. I was incredibly proud of that.

We've also made over 100 experience improvements to the MyAviva app and to Aviva Connect, which is the broker app. And we have over half a million new registrations on MyAviva in the last 12 months. So, people are engaging more with Aviva, which is obviously good. The reason that's important is if somebody is on and using the MyAviva app, then they're twice as likely to buy another Aviva product.

And the second priority area is growth and we've made great progress there also.

We've grown in insurance, we've grown in wealth and we've grown in retirement, as you can see from the results that we've published today.

So maybe just to sort of delve into a couple of those areas, because we can't just rely on our existing revenue streams, we have to look for new opportunities.

So, in commercial lines, we are expanding our regional underwriting footprint. We've made enhancements to our digital proposition. In Canada we've launched a multinational proposition for national businesses there. And in the wealth business, we've launched some new enhancements to the master trust proposition.

And last week I was really excited when we announced the Azur acquisition because that puts us as number one in the high-net-worth market in the UK.

That and the launch of Aviva Zero where we've now underwritten over 12,000 policies, I think these are all really good proof points which show that Aviva is growing in our traditional areas but also in new revenue areas.

So, our third priority area is efficiency and as you've seen today, our costs are down 2%. So that's really good news.

I think particularly when you look at this very high inflationary environment in which we're operating in, so any cost reduction is clearly going to be tough.

But the good news is that we are on target to meet the 750 million target that we set out in March this year.

We're reducing our IT platforms, simplifying them so that they're not as expensive. And we are also looking at our product set to simplify the number of products that we have. And of course, for us, top quartile efficiency remains our absolute priority across each of the business lines.

And the final area is, of course, around sustainability. And here we're making good progress. But in the last six months where we've really been focusing our attention is on the cost of living crisis. And I think there are three things that we should draw out here. Firstly, we've committed £15 million to support vulnerable businesses and vulnerable people in local communities as they struggle through what is, of course, an incredibly difficult time for them.

The second area is thinking about our customers and ensuring that we can provide them with affordable product propositions as they are making choices during this cost of living crisis.

And finally, our own colleagues, we made an announcement last week of a one-off payment to support 7,000 of our colleagues in this difficult time.

Jenny Bruce

Thank you, Amanda. That's been some great insight.

What are the key messages that you'd like us to take away from today?

Amanda Blanc

So, Jenny, I think to sum up, we would say we've had an excellent start to the year, but we are very conscious of how difficult it is out there. It's really tough.

But we are in a good position because we've got some leading franchises.

If you look at our position across the UK, Ireland and Canada we're in a strong position. And we have a formidable brand.

And the work that we did two years ago in setting the new strategy has put us in a great place to be able to capitalize on that.

So, we have a real confidence that we can deliver Aviva's promise.

So, I guess I just want to finish by saying thank you to all of our colleagues for all the hard work that they've put in for the last six months. I really, really appreciate that.

Jenny Bruce

Thank you so much, Amanda. It's been brilliant talking through with you today.

Amanda Blanc

And thank you. I've really enjoyed it.