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Financials

UPDATE 1-Aviva to slash debt, confident on profit growth

* To cut hybrid debt by at least 700 mln stg over next 3 yrs

* Has cut its pension deficit to 0.4 bln stg vs 1.7 bln

* Confident over future profit growth

* Proforma NAV on European Embedded Value basis is 617p

(Adds detail, background)

LONDON, Jan 20 (Reuters) - British insurer Aviva AV.L said it aimed to slash its hybrid debt by at least 700 million pounds ($1.12 billion) over the next three years as part of an overall strategy to boost its profits and returns for shareholders.

Aviva, which is the world’s sixth-biggest insurer, added it had cut its pension deficit to 0.4 billion pounds as of November 30, 2010 from 1.7 billion pounds at the end of 2009.

“We have a clear strategy to grow our dividend and profits through increasing our geographic focus and in light of the changed economic environment and our strong capital generation we’re planning to reduce our hybrid debt over the next three years,” Aviva Chief Executive Andrew Moss said in a statement.

Last year, Aviva rejected a 5 billion pound approach by rival RSA RSA.L for some of Aviva's key non-life insurance businesses, and since then Aviva has been keen to highlight the company's growth potential to investors.

The company said executives would brief investors on the details of its balance sheet management during the course of Thursday morning. ($1=.6257 Pound)

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