Updates from Aviva, Admiral Group and London Stock Exchange Group

Aviva profits surge meanwhile US shares dip on more oil glut and job creation worry

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savings, tax, stockmarket, pensions, cash, investment FTSE 100, Aviva, London Stock Exchange Group, Admiral
A 30-point climb for the Big Board on Wednesday. The FTSE 100 ended the day at 6,919.2. Stronger revenue and profits from ITV saw the broadaster's shares surge close to 6% to 234.5p while Standard Chartered also climbed strongly, up 5.1% to 1024p. However miner Fresnillo tumbled almost 8.5% to 724.50p as pre-tax profits came under pressure.

Stateside, the Dow Jones slipped more than 106 points to 18,096.9 following more oil glut concerns as well as further private job creation worry; AMEX shares slipped the most, down -1.5% to $80.6.

Plenty of corporate numbers this morning. First, insurer giant Aviva. 2014 operating profit comes in 6% higher at £2,173m (FY13: £2,049m) with operating earnings per share up 10% to 47.0p (FY13: 42.6p). It's also cautious though on full-year prospects.

The final dividend jumps 30% to 12.25p while Aviva's total annual dividend is 18.1p (FY13: 15.0p). Aviva claims the value of new business grew 15% to £1,009m (FY13: £904m).

"Our life insurance measure of growth, value of new business, is 15% higher at £1,009m," says the company, "and we have grown general insurance underwriting profit 54% to £321m."

We move on, next, to another insurer, Admiral. Group profit before tax slumps 4% to £357m for the full year while group turnover is also under pressure, down 3% to £1.97bn. Car insurance turnover, on the other hand, rises 10% to £206m. There's also a 15% climb in total customer numbers to 592,000.

Admiral have proposed a final dividend of 49.0 pence (22.5 pence normal and 26.5 pence special) per share, to be paid 29 May 2015, which is around -1% down on last year in total.

"For the first time since we went public, Admiral Group," says boss Henry Engelhardt, "did not post a record profit, but we still made a lot of money, had an enviable 52% return on equity and distributed 95% of our after-tax profits to our shareholders."

Lastly, London Stock Exchange Group says full year 2014 revenues were up 32% to £1.28bn taking 12% organic growth. Adjusted operating profit is up 8% £558.0 million.

There's a proposed final dividend of 12.8 pence per share, up 6.5% on an equivalent basis claims LSE with a total dividend of 22.5 pence per share for the nine month period it says.

"The Group," says boss Xavier Rolet, "has delivered another strong financial performance, with organic growth in all business areas and contribution from acquisitions. We have extended our international footprint and further strengthened our Information Services."
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