(Corrects third paragraph to show comparative figure is in billions, not millions)
LONDON, Aug 7 (Reuters) - British insurer Aviva posted a 4 percent rise in first-half operating profit as its European and UK general insurance businesses built on a strong start to the year, making up for weakness in Canada.
Aviva, which provides personal lines of insurance including motor, home, travel and life cover, said it had laid out a new set of targets to achieve an operating expense ratio of below 50 percent and double its annual excess holding company cash flow to 800 million pounds ($1.35 billion).
Operating profit increased to 1.05 billion pounds in the six months ended June 30 from 1.01 billion pounds last year. ($1 = 0.5937 British Pounds) (Reporting by Richa Naidu; editing by Simon Jessop and Tom Pfeiffer)