Amanda Blanc, Chief Executive Officer, said:
"We will focus Aviva on our strongest businesses in the UK, Ireland and Canada and aim to be the UK’s leading insurer. We are going to focus on those businesses where we have the necessary size, capability and brilliant customer service to generate superior shareholder returns. This is where we will invest and grow. Where we cannot meet our strategic objectives, we will take decisive action and we will withdraw capital.
We must transform our performance and improve our efficiency. This requires great customer service, stronger innovation and better use of our brand. Our transformation will be underpinned by continuing to manage our balance sheet prudently, reducing debt and increasing our financial resilience.
Aviva’s financial performance in the first half of 2020 was solid. Our financial position is strong and operating profit of £1.2 billion was robust, thanks to our diverse range of products, excellent partners and our swift operational response to the COVID-19 pandemic. I am proud of the way our people have gone above and beyond to help our customers during this crisis.
The Board has declared a second interim dividend in respect of the 2019 financial year of 6 pence per share. While the Board continues to monitor the impact of COVID-19 and the economic outlook, we have decided to take the opportunity to review our longer term dividend policy, in light of our strategic priorities and the future shape of the group, with the objective of a sustainable pay-out and lower levels of debt. We will update shareholders on all dividend matters, including the 2019 final dividend in the fourth quarter.
I have been CEO for one month and I am confident we have many of the ingredients to make Aviva a winner. From this moment on, we must deliver. Nothing else will do. My focus is making sure it happens and at pace."
- Operating capital generation‡# £890 million (HY19: £780 million)
- Solvency II return on equity1,‡ 7.1% (HY19: 11.0%)
- Own funds generation1 £632 million (HY19: £864 million)
- Operating profit2,3,‡# £1,225 million (HY19: £1,386 million)
- Operating EPS2,3,4,‡# 23.4 pence (HY19: 26.1 pence)
- IFRS profit before tax attributable to shareholders £1,076 million (HY19 £1,523 million)
- Basic EPS 20.0 pence (HY19: 28.2 pence)
- Second interim dividend in respect of 2019 of 6 pence per share
Capital & Cash
- Solvency II capital surplus5 £12.0 billion (FY19: £12.6 billion)
- Solvency II cover ratio5,‡# 194% (FY19: 206%)
- Solvency II net asset value5 416 pence (FY19: 423 pence)
- Cash remittances‡# £150 million (HY19: £1,582 million)
- Centre liquidity6 £2.5 billion (February 2020: £2.4 billion)
- Debt leverage ratio7,‡ 32% (FY19: 31%)
- IFRS net asset value per share8 473 pence (FY19: 434 pence)
- Life PVNBP £21.2 billion (HY19: £21.3 billion)
- Value of new business (VNB)‡ £601 million (HY19: £535 million)
- General insurance net written premiums (NWP) £4,748 million (HY19: £4,725 million)
- General insurance combined operating ratio (COR)3,‡ 99.8% (HY19: 96.8%)
- General insurance net IFRS COVID-19 claims impact £165 million
- Controllable costs3,9,‡ £1,912 million (HY19: £1,966 million)
Transcript for video Watch our Group CEO, Amanda Blanc's 2020 half year results video
It's an exciting day for me presenting my first set of results at Aviva. More than that, it's exciting because today we can draw a line. From this moment on we must look forward towards the brighter future that I know is waiting for Aviva. I don't want to dwell too much on the numbers in this message. You can read all the detail in our press release. But I do want to say a huge thank you to all our people who contributed to what are a very solid set of results.
Today's results are the tangible evidence of the incredible effort our people have made in supporting our customers in the last six months. Through floods, storms and a global pandemic. And Aviva's response has been spot on -whether that be the smooth running of our business; the £43 million we have donated to support charities and communities; or how our people have looked after our customers. I couldn't have asked for more and am incredibly proud of the hard work of all our people.
We will take that confidence, in what we have achieved, into the rest of the year and beyond. Because it's the future I want everyone focused on. I said I would work at pace to assess our strategic opportunities. That is exactly what I have been doing and today I want to be clear about the future direction of travel.
Let me start by saying that Aviva has enormous potential:
- We have fantastic franchises;
- Market leading capabilities;
· Trusted long-term relationships with both customers and distributors;
- And, above aII, we have great people.
To unlock that potential, meaningful change is required. I have three priorities that I want to be clear on today.
First, we will focus the portfolio. In the UK, Ireland and Canada, where we have market leading positions and a clear path to win, we will be investing for growth. Our aim is to be the UK's leading insurer. In our international businesses, in Europe and Asia, we will take a disciplined approach to investment and will manage these businesses for long-term shareholder value. These are excellent businesses with great people. But we have to be realistic in our broader ambitions if we are to unlock the full potential of Aviva. Where we see attractive opportunities to be market leaders, generate strong returns, deliver robust cash flows to the centre and ultimately win - we will invest. But if we cannot meet our strategic objectives, we will take a decisive action and we will withdraw capital. Ultimately there may be better owners for these businesses than Aviva in the longer-term.
Second, we will transform performance. I've been a competitor of Aviva's for a large part of my career and I can tell you that Aviva has a formidable market position. In terms of our brand, customers, distribution and capabilities in digital and data science. I am very proud of everything our people have done to look after our customers through these exceptional circumstances. More than anything, we need to believe. Look at what we have today. We have a business that offers a huge range of products and services. A business that not only maintained excellent service to customers during the pandemic but improved upon it. We have relationships with brokers and intermediaries that our competitors cannot replicate. And we have a business that has made huge leaps in digitisation. We have been quietly building up registrations and digital interactions.
These are all things to be incredibly proud of. Make no mistake though, we are not the finished article and there is a lot that must be done to bring it all together. But we need faster decision-making and more focus. I am going to bring a new intensity to how we approach performance management and competitiveness.
My third priority is financial strength. It is clear we need to create greater financial flexibility to either invest in our businesses or to return capital to our shareholders. Financial strength and debt reduction are key priorities for me. And they will be at the heart of our strategy going forward. In line with this, we have announced today a second interim dividend in respect of the 2019 fiscal year of six pence per share. This is consistent with our solid financial position and resilient results. But also, a cautious stance towards economic risks as the economy slowly emerges from the current crisis
My ambitions for Aviva are BIG but they are realistic. I firmly believe that everything we need for future success is in place but there is one key area where we need to make a huge improvement - delivery. The truth is, and let's be honest, we haven't been as good as we needed to be in that respect and that needs to change. I don't intend to distract the organisation with another lengthy strategic review or a capital markets day. With the right strategic focus, a commitment to high performance and unwavering financial discipline, we will win. Our investors and our customers - and our people - expect action, progress and improvement. And we are going to give it to them.
‡ Denotes Alternative Performance Measures (APMs) which are key performance indicators of the Group used to measure our performance and financial strength. Further details of this measure are included in the ‘Other information’ section of the Analyst Pack.
# Denotes key performance indicators which are used by the Group to determine or modify remuneration. Further details of this measure are included in the ‘Other information’ section of the Analyst Pack.
1 Includes Group centre, debt costs and other items not allocated to the markets.
2 Group adjusted operating profit is a non-GAAP APM which is not bound by the requirements of IFRS. Further details of this measure are included in the ‘Other information’ section of the Analyst Pack.
3 On 31 December 2019 the Group adjusted operating profit APM was revised and now includes the amortisation and impairment of internally generated intangible assets to better reflect the operational nature of these assets (see note B2 of the Analyst Pack). Group adjusted operating profit continues to exclude amortisation and impairment of intangible assets acquired in business combinations. Comparative amounts for the 6 month period ended 30 June 2019 have been restated resulting in a reduction in the prior period Group adjusted operating profit of £62 million. There is no impact on profit before tax attributable to shareholders’ profit. Following the change in the definition of Group adjusted operating profit, COR, controllable costs and operating earnings per share were also restated to include the amortisation and impairment of internally generated intangible assets. Comparative amounts for the 6 month period ended 30 June 2019 have been restated resulting in an increase in prior period COR of 0.9%, an increase in prior period controllable costs of £62 million and a reduction in prior period operating earnings per share of 1.2 pence.
4 This measure is derived from the Group adjusted operating profit APM. Further details of this measure are included in the ‘Other information’ section of the Analyst Pack.
5 The estimated Solvency II position represents the shareholder view only. See section 3 of the Analyst Pack for more details.
6 Stated as at end July.
7 Excluding the direct capital instrument, which was redeemed in full at first call date on 27 July 2020.
8 Number of shares as at 30 June 2020: 3,928 million (FY19: 3,921 million).
9 Following a review of the presentation of claims handling costs, to achieve consistency in our reporting, comparative amounts have been restated by £41 million for the 6 month period ended 30 June 2019 and £83 million for the year ended 31 December 2019 to include previously excluded claims handling costs attributable to the Life & Health businesses from the UK, Ireland and Poland in controllable costs.
* This announcement contains inside information. The person responsible for making this announcement on behalf of the Group is Kirstine Cooper (Group Company Secretary).
Notes to editors
All comparators are for the half year 2019 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 30 June 2020. The average rates employed in this announcement are 1 euro = £0.88 (6 months to 30 June 2019: 1 euro = £0.88) and CAD$1 = £0.58 (6 months to 30 June 2019: CAD$1 = £0.58).
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.
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