British insurer Aviva reported profits of £2.91bn ($4bn) for the full year 2020, up 10% from 2019. The core savings and retirement business contributed to the bulk of the profits seeing record net flows of £8.5bn ($11.8bn), up 13% YoY. The Group Protection business also saw record sales of £716mn ($994mn) up 38% YoY. The results were the first under the new CEO Amanda Blanc, who said, “Aviva is financially strong and following the completion of the major disposals, we will be in a position to make a substantial return of capital to our shareholders. We are also announcing today an £800mn ($1.1bn) debt tender offer. This allows us to accelerate our debt reduction plans and lower debt by a total of £1.7bn ($2.4bn) in the first half of this year.”
Aviva also said it will offload the remainder of its Italian operations for €873mn ($1.04bn) in cash. They will sell their Italian business Aviva Italy to CNP Assurances and its general insurance business to Allianz adding that the pace of disposals was faster than expected. This would see Aviva generate ~$1.6bn in cash from the exit. The divestments and debt reduction are expected to lead to give way for a share buyback worth £3bn ($4.2bn). The disposal comes after Aviva agreed to sell its French business to Aema in late February for $3.9bn.
Aviva’s bonds are slightly higher – their GBP 6.125% Perps were up 0.1 to 107.69.
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