Aviva hikes dividend and assures £400m takeover nearly over
Insurance giant Aviva has sought to soothe investor concerns today, confirming that the nearly £400m takeover of Succession Wealth will be completed later this year.
The deal is expected to be wrap up in the second half. While its interim dividend for this year has jumped 40 per cent to 10.3p per share – up from 7.35p a year prior.
“Sales are up, operating profit is higher, our financial position is stronger. This has been an excellent six months for Aviva,” CEO Amanda Blanc said in a statement.
The comments will act as tonic to shareholder fears that the City insurer has been losing its momentum, having had its share price stall in recent months to trade no higher than 30 years ago.
The lag prompted analysts to dial back their expectations for the firm. Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and RBC were all among the teams to trim their target price for the stock in the past month.
Investors have been eager for an update on its shift in focus towards core British, Irish and Canadian operations, as well as an update on the £385m acquisition of Succession Wealth, the UK wealth management and financial planning business.
UK & Ireland Life sales also rose four per cent to £16.8bn, up slightly from the £16.2bn it recorded in the same period last year.