London-based insurer Aviva has recorded strong sales figures for 2006, with total worldwide long-term savings sales increasing by 22% to over GBP31.1 billion. This overall performance was driven by record Q4 results, which saw the company make over GBP8 billion in worldwide sales.

<p>According to Aviva, 2006 also saw its strongest UK performance to date, with total sales under the Norwich Union insurance brand up 35% to approximately GBP14 billion. Furthermore, the company&#0039;s newly acquired US business AmerUs also recorded its best ever quarterly annuity and life sales, with total sales up 21% year on year.<br /><br />While Aviva&#0039;s investment sales grew by 48%, the insurers worldwide life and pensions sales were also up 18%. According to Reuters, this was driven by increased UK demand as a result of new &#0039;A-day&#0039; pensions regulations, which increased awareness of the need to save and allowed consumers to begin saving more for retirement.<br /><br />Although Aviva&#0039;s total international business, which accounts for just over half of its profit, saw sales rise by 13% to over GBP17.1 billion, the insurer did not fare particularly well in parts of the European market. According to Reuters, sales in France grew by just 1%, while life and pension sales in The Netherlands fell by 14%. <br /><br />According to online newspaper This is Money, Philip Scott, Aviva&#0039;s executive director, has commented that the insurer has not ruled out a potential merger with UK life insurer Prudential, despite the fact that it rejected Aviva&#0039;s bid in 2006. The newspaper quoted Mr Scott as commenting: Should at any point they wish to come back to us, then why wouldn&#0039;t we?<br /><br />Aviva is to undergo management changes in July 2007, as chief executive Richard Harvey will be replaced by finance director Andrew Moss, while Philip Scott will take over Mr Moss&#0039; role.</p>