General insurance provider Aviva has reported a successful 2006, posting profit increases across most of its business units.

The group experienced a strong financial performance in its worldwide life business, which saw profits rise by 12% to GBP2 billion, while operating profit for its general insurance units increased by 8% to GPB1.7 billion.

Impressive 2006 sales were also experienced by other insurers operating in the UK, driven largely by the changes in pension regulations designed to encourage customers to save more for retirement, reported Bloomberg.

In the UK, our clear strategy and increased consumer confidence has delivered an excellent result and an increased market share, commented Richard Harvey, Aviva group chief executive. Our European portfolio of life businesses is also growing ahead of the market overall, with an increasing contribution from central and eastern Europe. In Asia, we’ve made good headway in the biggest markets of India and China and will continue to broaden our reach, looking at new markets and distribution opportunities.

Mr Harvey also said that the group is continuing to focus on aggressive expansion across its product lines, distribution and geographies.