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August 7, 2009

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Aviva Results Better Than Expected

BRITISH insurer Aviva Plc saw its share price spike about 6 percent yesterday despite slashing its dividend as the company posted better-than-expected results and announced plans to float off its Dutch unit to raise more money to shore up its balance sheet.

Aviva said it made a net profit of 747 million pounds (US$1.27 billion) in the first half of the year, in contrast to an 84 million pound loss in the same period of 2008 as margins in the life and pensions business improved.

On an operating basis, profits rose to 1.69 billion pounds from 1.51 billion pounds last year. The rise was unexpected as analysts had predicted a decline of around 1.3 billion pounds.

The better-than-expected performance helped the company's share price rally in early trading on the FTSE index of leading British shares - it was up 5.7 percent at 377 pence, its highest level this year.


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