Aviva turnaround advances as first half sales rise

LONDON Thu Aug 8, 2013 1:58am EDT

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LONDON Aug 8 (Reuters) - British insurance group Aviva posted a 5 percent rise in operating profits as rising sales in key markets offset weakness in southern European operations.

In a half year earnings statement on Thursday, Aviva said the value of new business - its key measure of growth - grew 17 percent to 401 million pounds.

The performance was driven by the UK, France and Asia, thought sales fell sharply in Italy and Spain, Aviva said.

"In the first half we have taken a number of steps to deliver our investment thesis of cash flow and growth. These results show satisfactory progress in Aviva's turnaround," Chief Executive Mark Wilson said.

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