Aviva's profits slipped by 13% in the first half to £828m before tax on an achieved profits basis from £955m in the same period last year. The fall was a result of falling investment returns, Aviva said.

On a modified statutory basis, Aviva's operating profit before tax was £638m from £733m last year.

The group's combined ratio was steady at 101%, the same as last year's comparative period.

The general insurance operation benefited from firm prices and a generally benign loss environment.

But it produced an operating profit 15% lower than before, at £387m against £456m last year, calculated on an achieved profit basis.

The combined ratio for general insurance in the UK, under the Norwich Union brand, improved by two percentage points to 99% from 101% in the first half of 2002.

Weather-related claims were lower than expected, producing £30m of unexpected profits.

Aviva results

  • UK first half general insurance premiums after reinsurance up to £2,496m from £2,376m
  • UK first half general insurance operating profit £313m
  • UK first half general insurance underwriting result £10m against a loss of £35m
  • UK first half general insurance combined ratio: 99%, down from 101%
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