Operating expenses were ten per cent lower year-on-year at £769m and internal debt was reduced by £300m.
The company announced that the sale of its remaining stake in Dutch insurer Delta Lloyd and the disposal of businesses in Russia and Malaysia had been completed.
“In the first quarter we have taken steps to deliver our investment thesis of cash flow and growth,” said chief executive Mark Wilson.
“Our operating expenses are now ten per cent lower and we are on track to deliver our cost savings target of £400 million.
“Our key measure of growth - value of new business - has increased by 18% driven by actions to improve profitability in UK Life and growth in our Asian business.”