Aviva Plc raised its interim dividend 13% to 8.4 pence per share as it reported a year-over-year surge in first-half profit.
The interim dividend will be paid Nov. 17 to shareholders, with the record date set Oct. 6. The insurer's first-half profit attributable to equity holders rose to £637 million from £130 million in the year-ago period. EPS amounted to 14.7 pence, compared with 2.4 pence a year earlier.
Pretax operating profit in the life business ticked up year over year to £1.32 billion from £1.23 billion, driven by improved performances in the U.K., France and Poland, while pretax operating profit at the general insurance and health business totaled £417 million, up 25% from £334 million in the first half of 2016.
Aviva's gross written premiums rose on a yearly basis to £13.58 billion from £12.59 billion. Net earned premiums came in at £12.14 billion, up from the year-ago £11.09 billion.
Net investment income, meanwhile, declined to £10.75 billion from £15.16 billion.
Claims and benefits paid, net of recoveries from reinsurers, amounted to £12.50 billion, compared with the year-ago £11.45 billion. The change in insurance liabilities, net of reinsurance, came in at £1.68 billion, down from £5.93 billion a year earlier.
The combined operating ratio in the general insurance business stood at 94.5%, compared with 95.7% a year earlier.
The estimated Solvency II coverage ratio was 193% at June-end, up from 189% at 2016-end and 174% a year ago.
Separately, Aviva said it inked a 10-year general insurance deal with HSBC Holdings Plc that will enable it to provide home and travel insurance products through the bank's mobile and online channels, branch network and over the phone.
The deal, which the insurer said is one of the largest bancassurance deals in the U.K., builds on a former five-year deal with HSBC.