The performance that prompted Aviva shareholders to oust chief executive Andrew Moss was laid bare in figures today.
With its shares nearly 40% lower than a year ago, Britain’s biggest insurer revealed a 5% drop in long-term savings sales and flat general insurance and health premiums in the first three months of the year.
Aviva’s £1.3bn (€1.63bn) exposure to the troubled eurozone economies of Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain also continued to hit the group, as life and pension sales in Italy and Spain tumbled 23%.
The soft performance comes despite a series of TV adverts starring actor Paul Whitehouse, known for his work with comedian Harry Enfield, in which he plays a variety of characters promoting a range of insurance products.
Stand-in boss John McFarlane repeated his pledge to lift the group’s financial performance as he prepares to conduct a strategic review of all its businesses.
Mr McFarlane stepped in as executive deputy chairman following the abrupt exit of Mr Moss, who stood down after investors staged a massive protest vote against Aviva’s annual pay report.