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'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'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 'A-day' pensions regulations, which increased awareness of the need to save and allowed consumers to begin saving more for retirement.<br /><br />Although Aviva'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'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'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'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' role.</p>