Savings and retirement net flows increased 31% benefiting from strong performance in the workplace platform which also grew by 26% to £1.5bn from £1.2bn the previous year.
The group also continued to benefit from its recent selling of eight businesses including Aviva Vita and Turkey for £7.5bn with proceeds expected by the end of 2021. Once all the sales are finalised, the group anticipates it will generate a “substantial return of capital.”
The company also reiterated its continuing focus on improving the growth and profitability of its businesses in the UK, Ireland, Canada and Aviva Investors.
Additionally, Amanda Blanc, group CEO, claimed the group has made “excellent headway” in reducing leverage with debt reductions of £1.9bn in the first half of 2021 with the leverage ratio expected to be around 26% at the half year.
She said: “Demand for bulk purchase annuities was subdued in the first quarter but we have seen a good start to the second quarter. We have continued to support our customers dealing with Covid, including extending cover and deferring monthly payments for those experiencing financial difficulty.
“Nevertheless, we remain sharply focused on further improving performance, recognising we still have much more to do, to deliver stronger returns for our shareholders.”