Welcome to our shareholder update.
In this edition of your shareholder update you can read about:
- Chairman’s update – welcoming our new CEO.
- 2018 financial results – a snapshot of our achievements.
- Details for our 2019 Annual General Meeting.
- Caring for our customers – the impact of the new Civil Liability Act and the Aviva Foundation.
- Recent digital innovations – Aviva’s Digital GP and the acquisition of a majority stake in Neos.
I’m pleased to introduce our first quarterly shareholder update of 2019.
March is always a busy time for Aviva, marking as it does the release of our full year results. There is a summary of our performance in this update and you can find more details at www.aviva.com/results
I am delighted that in March we also announced the appointment of Maurice Tulloch as Aviva’s new Chief Executive Officer. Maurice joined Aviva in 1992 and was appointed to the Board of Aviva plc in June 2017. He has previously led both our international businesses and Aviva UK and Ireland General Insurance. With 26 years as part of the Aviva family, Maurice knows the business inside out, knows our strengths, and where we need to improve. He is exceptionally well qualified to re-energise Aviva and deliver long-term growth.
I’m also pleased that the Aviva Foundation is now up and running. It has been set up to invest unclaimed shareholder assets into charitable causes aligned with our values. This is a great use of money which will benefit our customers and communities and I am excited to hear what the Foundation will achieve in the coming year.
A final word on Brexit. We still do not know how events will unfold, but our structure means that we expect Britain’s departure from the EU to have no significant operational impact on Aviva. We have put in place detailed plans to make sure we will be there for our customers, come what may.
Thank you for your continuing support.
Sir Adrian Montague - Chairman
2018 financial results
It has been a solid year and despite some challenging conditions, we’ve made steady progress. Aviva has some enviable advantages; we’ve got an outstanding brand, scale, innovative partnerships and most importantly of all, we have 33 million customers, to whom we paid out £33 billion in claims and benefits last year. There are three headlines in this year’s results:
- Our operating earnings per share is up 7% to 58.4p. Just under half of our earnings growth is due to higher profits from our major businesses, with the rest of the increase due to our ordinary share buy-back, debt reduction and a higher net contribution from longevity and assumption changes.
- We remain financially strong – we have a Solvency II capital surplus of £12 billion and a cover ratio of 204%, which is six points up over the year, despite tough investment markets.
- And finally, we’re increasing our total dividend again, by 9% to 30p. As we move forward the Board has decided to move to a progressive dividend policy. This means our plan is to maintain or grow the ordinary dividend per share over time depending on business performance and growth prospects.
In summary, we approach 2019 with strong fundamentals. Our balance sheet is robust and resilient, our businesses are well-positioned in their respective markets and overall performance has been steady.
The 2019 Annual General Meeting
The AGM is the Board’s opportunity to present the company’s performance and strategy to our shareholders, and to listen and respond to your questions.
This year’s AGM will be held on Thursday 23 May 2019 at 11am at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre (QEII Centre), Broad Sanctuary, Westminster, London SW1P 3EE. All shareholders are welcome to attend and vote at the meeting.
If you are not able to vote in person, you can vote remotely by proxy by:
- Voting online – you can appoint a proxy and register your voting instruction online by visiting www.investorcentre.co.uk/eproxy
- Voting by post – you can appoint a proxy and register your voting instruction by returning your completed Form of Proxy to Computershare Investor Services PLC, The Pavilions, Bridgwater Road, Bristol BS99 6ZY.
Proxy appointments must be received no later than 11am on Tuesday, 21 May 2019.
New Civil Liability Act
The new Civil Liability Act, which received Royal Assent on 20 December 2018, will transform Britain’s motor compensation culture to create a fairer system for insurance customers and claimants alike.
Rob Townend, MD of Aviva UK General Insurance, said “the Civil Liability Act will help make motor insurance more affordable, will reduce the number of injury-chasing nuisance calls, and will make our roads safer by removing the financial incentive for ‘crash-for-cash’ fraudsters. Importantly, the new law allows insurers to focus on those with genuine injuries and claims, and ensure we help them when they need us most.”
Aviva was the first insurer to suggest that motor claims would be better treated with care, not cash. Aviva has campaigned for personal injury reform for the last five years, and like other insurers Aviva will pass on the money saved from the new law to our customers.
The new law is a key milestone in tackling the UK’s compensation culture.
For too long, honest motorists have paid for a broken system which rewards fraudsters, claims management companies and injury lawyers at the expense of honest motorists.
The Aviva Foundation
In our September 2018 shareholder update, we asked our shareholders to share their views about how the Foundation could support our communities. We would like to thank you for your contributions. The Aviva Foundation is now set up to:
- promote financial capability and inclusion
- develop community resilience (including supporting older people to live well for longer)
- enable sustainable finance though our partnership with the World Benchmarking Alliance.
We have donated £3 million already to the Foundation, which we released from unclaimed assets that were in our share register for a minimum of 12 years.
In the next months, the Foundation will work closely with our business and civil society partners to create a long-term legacy for the communities we serve.
We’ve rolled out Digital GP to our employees. It is a 24/7 personal GP service which lets our people book a video consultation with a GP and provides a pharmacy service at the touch of a button.
We provide the service in collaboration with Now Healthcare Group (NHG), the world’s premier telehealth organisation.
Our employees can now speak to an NHS-registered doctor at a time and place that suits them. Less time spent in the waiting room helps our people get on with their busy working lives.
A Digital GP app lets people book a video consultation with a NHS registered GP, get electronic prescriptions, order NHS repeat prescriptions, get referral letters for UK-based specialist care, and request Statement of Fitness for Work notes and self-test kits.
In 2017 we invested in Neos through Aviva Ventures, our corporate venture capital fund. We subsequently made the decision to acquire a majority shareholding in Neos when the opportunity arose. Neos uses camera and sensor technology which detects break-ins or leaks, and immediately alerts customers through their smart phone. Find out more about Neos.
Not only does our acquisition of a majority shareholding in Neos give us a fantastic head-start to delivering on the UKGI Prevention strategy, but it gives us some new, critical and immediate capabilities:
- We are part of a growing and credible insurtech brand (#6 globally and #1 in the UK).
- We are developing a flexible and configurable ‘Internet of Things’ platform, connecting home safety to home insurance through customers’ smart phones.
- We are building powerful supplier/distribution relationships to develop our technology.
The launch of the Neos SmartCam in January 2019 was important for us. We’re seeking to invest in and develop products which have high customer engagement and utility, and then connect the customer, through the product, to their insurance. This will help us to grow our market share whilst driving down claims costs through connected technology.
To find out more, read our recent news story.
Stay in touch
We’ll share another shareholder update in June 2019. Register with Computershare to receive an alert when these updates are available.
If you have any feedback or suggestions for our shareholder update, please email email@example.com.