British insurer Aviva exits Italy

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British insurer Aviva posted flat operating profit for 2020 and sold its remaining businesses in Italy, it said on Thursday, as it tries to focus on its key markets of Britain, Canada and Ireland.

Operating profit of 3.2 billion pounds ($4.47 billion) beat a company-supplied consensus forecast of 2.8 billion.

Aviva said it sold its Italian life insurance business to France’s CNP Assurances for 543 million euros ($654.75 million) in cash and its general insurance business to Germany’s Allianz for 330 million euros in cash. Following an earlier sale, Aviva said it had raised 1.2 billion euros in total from its Italian units.

The life and general insurer recently sold its French business and joint venture stake in Turkey and sources say it is also close to exiting Poland

Aviva has also been selling business in Asia though it still has joint ventures in India and China.

“Our performance in 2020 demonstrates the resilience of our core businesses and our growth potential,” CEO Amanda Blanc said in a statement.

Aviva said it would pay a total dividend of 21 pence per share, in line with forecasts.