Deathwatch: Aviva lose £618m in half a year
Things are looking pretty bleak at Aviva after they reported a loss after tax of more than £680m in the first half of the year. The insurer has not been doing well for a while, accidentally firing over a thousand members of staff, handing out unbelievably awful quotes and indulging in a publicity stunt that woefully backfired.
But losing £680m in six months is something else.
Aviva are looking at a radical shake-up as it tries to get its house in order, planning to sell or close more than a quarter of its businesses in a bid to save £400m. The insurer has appointed investment banks to help them get through this like Daniel Bedingfield.
It appears that they'll be getting rid of their US division (AmerUs) which was bought for £1.8bn in 2006 and they've written down £876m of goodwill with Pat Regan, Aviva's finance chief, saying: "It's a test of recoverability of goodwill. It's no more than that."
Not in preparation of trying to flog the business to someone else then?
This £681m loss is particularly spectacular if you look at the fact that, earlier in the year, Aviva made a profit of £465m. If you're an Aviva customer, it might be time to start shopping around elsewhere.