UK-based insurer Aviva saw sales growth of 20% in its first quarter, bolstered by new business and international sales growth.
<p>Sales hit GBP7.9 billion, up from GBP6.3 billion the year earlier. International sales increased by 21%, while new business sales were up 20%. Investment sales registered the largest growth, leaping up by 72% to GBP1.1 billion. <br /><br />Richard Harvey, group chief executive, said: I am delighted with our performance in the first quarter of 2006. Aviva has accelerated sales growth across its worldwide long-term savings businesses and profits are growing in line with sales.<br /><br />He went on to say that, geographical diversity is one of our great strengths, and in the first quarter almost 60% of long-term savings new business comes from Aviva International. In the UK, our sales momentum is highly encouraging and new business profit is increasing strongly.<br /><br />It is not all good news however, with the insurer facing a challenge from its Dutch subsidiary Delta Lloyd. Delta is contesting Aviva's decision to alter its corporate governance structure, and is taking its parent to court over the issue.<br /><br />The argument has stemmed from Aviva's desire to decide Delta Lloyd's supervisory board members. Delta is claiming that an existing agreement with Aviva allows supervisory board members to choose their own successors. <br /><br />Aviva has accused Dutch coporate governance laws of causing the rift, saying they do not make it clear who has legal authority. Neither company has revealed a deadline concerning a decision.</p>