Aviva aims to sell divisions by end of year

INSURANCE giant Aviva hopes to sell some of its underperforming units by the end of the year, its executive chairman said yesterday.

John McFarlane confirmed that his firm has appointed investment banks to advise on the disposal of 10 units, telling analysts that some of the deals are set for completion in the next six months.

McFarlane, who has taken control of the firm on an interim basis following the resignation of former chief executive Andrews Moss, has pleased investors by moving to sell or close down 16 underperforming divisions.

“He seems to have done something very obvious which is to identify those businesses not making the cost of capital” said analyst Kevin Ryan of Investec.

Aviva announced a 10 per cent fall in half-year operating profit to £935m, in part due to UK flood payouts and restructuring costs. It also said it had written off £876m of goodwill at its US business.