Aviva plc Says Its Turnaround Is Delivering

Aavivaviva (LSE: AV) (NYSE: AV.US) issued an interim management statement for the third quarter, covering the nine months to 30 September, this morning. At the time of writing, Aviva’s share price is down just 0.6%.

The multinational insurance company says that its operating capital generation is stable at £1.3bn and that it continues to make “satisfactory progress” in increasing cash remittances, which it regards as a key priority.

It also reports that the value of new business grew 15%, to £690m, over the nine months to 30 September, with the new business having a balanced product mix of 36% protection, 35% savings and 20% annuities.

Aviva says that the growth was driven by strong performances in Asia (up 47%) and Europe (up 40%). It also says that although the value of new business in UK Life is 9% lower over the nine months, it returned to growth in Q3, with an increase of 18%.

The company also reports that its combined operating ratio — a key measure of an insurance company’s profitability, where a ratio of less than 100% indicates that the company is making a profit — improved one percentage point to 95.9% over the nine months, down from 96.9% over the same period in 2013.

Commenting on the statement, group CEO Mark Wilson said

Aviva’s turnaround is delivering. Our key metrics have improved again. Year to date, our net asset value is 10% higher; value of new business is up 15%1 and the general insurance combined ratio improved to 95.9%.

“The steps we have taken to focus and strengthen the Group mean we are in a different position to two years ago.

“Notwithstanding this progress, there is still more to do before we can be satisfied we are fully delivering on our investment thesis of cash flow plus growth.

At 514p, Aviva’s share price is up almost 16% on this time last year, during  which time the FTSE 100 has fallen 5%. And Aviva is beating the index over the longer-term, too, with a gain of 34% over the past five years, compared with a rise 27.5% by the FTSE 100.

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Jon Wallis has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.