Aviva Newsroom - 3 April 2013

Aviva plc 2012 Preliminary announcement

Good progress on disposals and turnaround programme £3,050m loss principally arising from the sale of the US as previously disclosed Economic capital surplus increased by £3.5bn to £7.1bn1 2012 total dividend 19p from 26p. Final dividend 9p from 16p Priorities: cashflow and debt reduction


  • Total loss after tax £3,050 million (2011: profit of £60 million) including previously announced £3.3 billion writedown on US disposal
  • Operating profit on an underlying2 basis of £1,776 million (2011: £1,857 million) after adverse foreign exchange impact of £65 million

Dividend rebased and scrip removed

  • Final 2012 dividend of 9 pence per share (2011: 16 pence), full-year dividend 19 pence per share, (2011: 26 pence).
  • Dividend rebased to reduce leverage and increase retained earnings, ensuring dividend distribution is covered by earnings and cashflows
  • Removal of dilutive scrip: will improve earnings per share and gives clarity to cashflows and dividend

Capital and cashflows

  • Proforma economic capital surplus3 £7.1 billion, 172% (2011: £3.6 billion, 130%)
  • IFRS net asset value of 278p (2011: 435p)
  • Interdivisional balance between Group and UK General Insurance replaced with an interest bearing loan of which £600 million will be repaid over the next three years
  • £944 million net cash remittances to Group in 2012 (2011: £778 million)

Status of 2012 turnaround plan

  • Significant disposals announced: US, Delta Lloyd, Aseval, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Russia
  • £275 million annualised cost savings realised
  • Internal and external leverage have increased and must be reduced

1 On a proforma basis. Includes the benefit of completing the US and Aseval transactions announced in December 2012 and the Delta Lloyd and Malaysia transactions announced in January 2013.
2  In 2012, operating profit on an underlying basis represents Aviva Group excluding Delta Lloyd and the United States. 2011 operating profit on an underlying basis represents Aviva Group excluding Delta Lloyd, United States and RAC.
3 The economic capital surplus represents an estimated unaudited position. The capital requirement is based on Aviva's own internal assessment and capital management policies. The term 'economic capital' does not imply capital as required by regulators or other third parties. Pension scheme risk is allowed for through ten years of stressed contributions.

Mark Wilson, Group Chief Executive Officer, said:

"2012 was a year of transition at Aviva. There has been solid progress against the turnaround plan set out last year. Our capital strength has improved materially and we have completed the vast proportion of the disposal programme. We have made progress reducing costs and we also have a strong new management team in place.

"The £3 billion loss after tax is driven principally by writedowns we have previously announced due to the agreed sale of our US business. Operating profit levels were healthy across our major businesses, especially in the UK, France and Canada.

"The rebasing of the dividend and the elimination of the dilutive scrip is about giving certainty to shareholders, reducing debt, and putting Aviva in a sound position for the future. This is the right course of action.

"Aviva has many strengths to build on. We have a number of market leading businesses capable of delivering progressive cashflows and other businesses that offer genuine growth potential. My intention is that Aviva will be a simpler business with a robust balance sheet that delivers sustainable cashflows and growth."

Chairman's statement

Aviva plc today announced its preliminary results for 2012, the first announcement for our new CEO Mark Wilson. As I held executive responsibility for the last eight months of the year, I thought it appropriate on this occasion, that I join Mark in this earnings announcement.

Mark has started very strongly. His focus going forward is on cash flow, earnings growth, and reducing leverage. This has my full endorsement as well as that of the board.

Strong progress and momentum in reshaping the group

In mid-2012, we launched a radical repositioning of the group, setting out a relatively ambitious programme to bring the group to a stronger, more stable position with improved earnings performance and operating cash generation in 2014 and beyond:

  • Refocus on core, exit 16 non-core segments, and turnaround 27 segments
  • Reduce exposure to southern Europe and capital hungry segments
  • Improve productivity, performance and operating capital generation
  • Strengthen economic capital and reduce leverage

As it turned out, we have had a very active period, but achieved a great deal in a short time.

Boosting capital was our main initial priority and I am pleased we were able to increase the economic capital surplus substantially by £3.5 billion from the end 2011 (130% coverage) to a pro-forma level of £7.1 billion (172% coverage), within our stated target range.

We have since exited seven of the most material "red" cells on time and at respectable prices, better and faster than was generally expected of us and action is being taken on the balance. Specifically, we announced disposal of the US business, our stake in Delta Lloyd, and a number of smaller interests around the world, the settlement of our dispute with Bankia in Spain, a significant reduction in our exposure to Italy and Spain, and the exit of large bulk purchase annuities in the UK.

We also targeted improvement by the end of 2013 in 27 "amber" cells, through revenue increase, cost reduction, loss mitigation, or capital reduction. Seven of these have been brought to "green" status. As we stand, we now have nine red cells, 20 amber cells and 22 green cells

We also reshaped our top management team, particularly with the appointment of a strong and decisive CEO, and made progress in the renewal of the board.

Reducing leverage

The announced sale of the US, though strategically imperative, nevertheless resulted in a sharp reduction in net assets per share and a consequent increase in tangible leverage from 41% to 50%, which is high relative to the sector. We have therefore revised our forward plans to bring this to below 40%, by increasing retained earnings and by reducing debt.

On 1st January 2013, we began the simplification of the group's legal structure to improve governance over the UK general insurance business. This, when completed by the end of May 2013 is expected to formalise an inter-divisional balance of around £5.8 billion in the form of a collateralized loan. In response to these pressures, we have decided to bring down the level of both internal and external debt to lower, more prudent, levels.

The decision to reduce the dividend

At the same time, constraints, including regulatory, on capital and liquidity, are putting greater demands on resources, as does our transformation programme, particularly this year. While central liquidity balances are likely to improve with the settlement with Bankia and the completion of the sale of the US business, group resources nevertheless contain insufficient provision for unknown risks, our desire to pay down internal and external debt, and to maintain prudent capital and liquidity levels.

In the circumstances therefore, we have taken the difficult decision to reduce the dividend to a level that can be cash covered in 2014 and to enhance the availability of resources for important long-term structural requirements.
Accordingly today we declared a final 2012 dividend of 9 pence per share, bringing the full-year dividend down by 27% to 19 pence from 26 pence and the final by 44% from 16 pence.

I regret this has become necessary, but can assure shareholders we took this decision only after examining scrupulously all alternatives. The need to ensure that the current and future dividend is sustainable and covered by operating cash generation is fundamental. The broad transformation of the group in the midst of continuing economic uncertainty also requires that we maintain and grow the level and flexibility of capital and liquid resources.

Zero bonuses for Executive Directors

While we appreciate the considerable progress that has been made on a number of fronts, we do not believe the overall situation of the group warrants bonuses for executive directors for 2012 or pay rises for 2013.

Improved Outlook

The turnaround programme continues apace. We are taking decisive action on costs and in improving business performance. 2013 though remains a transitional year through significant restructuring charges and the loss of earnings from subsidiaries earlier disposed.

We have forward business plans to 2015 that are robust, show significant improvement, and that the new dividend level is cash covered. Increased retained earnings and stronger liquidity should also permit reasonable reduction in internal and external debt levels, thus bringing overall leverage to a more reasonable level.

Management is demonstrating professional execution as well as prudence. I am confident about the future of Aviva, and for our prospects going forward.


John McFarlane, Chairman

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About Aviva plc

Aviva provides 34 million customers* with insurance, savings and investment products. We are the UK's* largest insurer and one of Europe's leading providers of life and general insurance*.

We combine strong life insurance, general insurance and asset management businesses under one powerful brand. We are committed to serving our customers well in order to build a stronger, sustainable business, which makes a positive contribution to society, and for which our people are proud to work.

* Source: 2012 Aviva plc annual report.