Welcome to our autumn update. I’m delighted to report that your business continues to go from strength to strength.
As you can read in more detail below, our half year results once again extended our recent track record of consistent, profitable growth. The positive performance across the group reinforces our conviction that our strategy, and our deliberately diversified business model, is the right one for Aviva.
This strong trading momentum, combined with our financial strength and our continued focus on efficiency, means that we are set to exceed our targets as well as being able to invest a billion pounds back into the business, just as we said we would. It also means that we can continue to grow our dividend and deliver regular, sustainable returns for you as shareholders.
Given this strong momentum, it is disappointing that this has not been reflected in our recent share price performance, which has been impacted by external factors. We though, remain focused on continuing to drive strong performance. That means continuing to execute really well, delivering growth, together with further reliable and consistent financial performance.
As ever, this update also covers some of our recent work on sustainability. This month we focus on two initiatives to protect and enhance the U.K.’s biodiversity. I’d also like to draw your attention to the advice and information on how to protect yourselves from potential scammers. I hope you find it useful.
Thank you once more for your continued interest in and support for Aviva.
George Culmer - Chair
2023 interim results
Amanda Blanc, Group Chief Executive Officer, said:
“Aviva is delivering consistently strong and profitable growth. In the first half of 2023 we grew sales, operating profit and dividends for our shareholders. Our excellent trading momentum is a direct result of the decisions we have taken over the last three years to re-focus Aviva. Today, Aviva has leading positions in growing markets, providing strong resilience in the current economic climate.
“In the UK & Ireland, general insurance premiums were up 13%, with healthy sales in both our commercial and personal lines businesses, where our Aviva Zero product has now attracted 250,000 new policies since launch. In Wealth, our market-leading Workplace business grew net flows by 25%. We continue to see very strong demand for private health insurance, with sales increasing by 58% as we expanded our services to corporate and individual customers. Our excellent Canadian general insurance business is also growing well, with sales 12% higher as a result of a strong performance in commercial lines, and the continued success of our local banking partnership.
“Aviva's performance and prospects have been transformed from just a few years ago. Today's Aviva is about delivery and momentum, and these results show that Aviva is consistently meeting its promises. We expect to exceed our financial targets and we are making progress each quarter, as we said we would. I remain confident and excited that there is so much more Aviva can and will achieve.”
2023 interim dividend
On 16 August 2023, Aviva announced an interim dividend of 11.10 pence per share (2022: 10.30 pence).
Our guidance for 2023 is for a dividend payment of c.£915 million, which equates to a total 2023 dividend of c.33.4p per share. We anticipate low-to-mid single digit growth in the cash cost of ordinary dividends thereafter.
Go to Dividends - Aviva plc for more details.
Aviva to exit Singlife joint venture
On 13 September 2023, Aviva announced that it had agreed to sell its 25.9% stake in Singapore Life Holdings Pte Ltd (Singlife), together with two debt instruments, to Sumitomo Life Insurance Company (Sumitomo Life). Sumitomo Life is currently a 23.2% shareholder in Singlife and sees Singapore as a key market within its overall Southeast Asia strategy.
Environment & community updates
The Save Our Wild Isles Community Fund
The Save Our Wild Isles Community Fund has distributed over £500,000 to 115 projects across the UK. The £1m Fund (in partnership with WWF and the RSPB) helps community groups across the UK take action to protect and restore nature in their local area. This Fund contributes to our 2% Community Investment target.
Successful applicants have told us.
“We were thrilled to receive our funding. It means we can improve all of our 18 rewilding and woodland creation projects across our community - just in time for the upcoming planting season.” (Nov 2023 - March 2024).
“The Fund means two of our team have been able to increase their hours. This has given us the security and confidence to plan further ahead to bring more benefits to the community.”
Aviva Volunteering Day at Buckenham Broad, Norfolk | WWF
Volunteers supported in clearing new growth of willow and alder from the edges of dykes to prevent conversion to wet woodland. This project will help mitigate the effects of climate change on biodiversity and food production.
Update on Share Fraud
We have had an increasing number of reports from shareholders that have received cold calls from overseas-based brokers offering to buy shares for more than they are worth, based on a supposed takeover bid for Aviva. The calls often claim to be from either AR Capital Acquisition Corporation or EA Acquisitions. We have also received reports from shareholders regarding calls claiming to be from Aviva.
If the shareholder agrees to the sale, they will be asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement and post a bond for thousands of pounds. We are aware that at least one shareholder has been persuaded to send a bond for over three thousand pounds and then discovered that it was a scam.
What you should do -
If you receive any unsolicited investment advice:
- Make sure you get the correct name of the person and organisation and make a record of any other information they give you, e.g. telephone number, address etc.
- Report a scam or unauthorised firm at www.fca.org.uk/scamsmart
- Inform our Registrar, Computershare who will record the details, pass them on to us, and liaise with the FCA.
- If the calls persist, never provide any personal information, simply hang up and then block the number. These calls have not been arranged by either Aviva or our Registrar, Computershare, and are likely to be part of a scam.
Remember: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
Register and feedback
We’ll share more shareholder updates in December 2023. Register to get an email when these are available. Want to keep up to date with the latest Aviva news? Follow Aviva Plc on Twitter and LinkedIn for regular updates.
If you have any feedback or suggestions for our shareholder update, please email email@example.com