DAILY NEWS Nov 8, 2012 10:33 AM - 0 comments

Aviva reports insurance sales improvement in Canada, continues search for chief executive

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Aviva Plc released Nov. 8 an interim management statement, reporting a 5% year-over-year increase in general insurance sales in Canada for the first nine months of 2012, as it continues to interview candidates for the role of chief executive officer.

The London-based firm reported total net premiums written for the general insurance and health categories of £2.12 billion during the third quarter. The total for Canada for the third quarter was £554 million, up 3% from the same period in 2011. During the second quarter in Canada, Aviva reported net written premiums for general insurance and health of £627 million. As of Nov. 8, the British Pound was worth C$1.59.

Year-to-date, net premiums written in general insurance and health in Canada was £1.635 billion, compared to £1.562 billion during the same period in 2011.

"In Canada, our second largest general insurance market, our combined operating ratio was 93%," the firm stated. "Sales were 5% higher at £1.6 billion primarily in our personal lines business due to improvements in retention, rate increases and underlying growth in our customer base. We have taken pricing and underwriting actions on some historically unprofitable commercial lines, such as hospitality and real estate, to improve returns."

Year-to-date, total worldwide sales (excluding Delta Lloyd and RAC) were £28.9 billion, down 5% from £30.3 billion during the first nine months of 2011.

In its interim statement, company chairman John McFarlane said the search process for a new CEO is "now well advanced and in line with the original timetable set out by the Board."

In July, McFarlane had stated he expected "an appointment to be made at the beginning of the New Year, or shortly thereafter."

Andrew Moss left the firm as CEO last May and McFarlane became interim executive deputy chairman and later executive chairman.

"Shortlisted candidates are in the process of being interviewed by non-executive directors," McFarlane stated in the Nov. 8 statement.

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