AVIVA’S UK Life business has reported increased profitability for the third quarter of the year.

The division, which is based in York, recorded a six per cent decrease in long-term savings sales, to £22.2 billion, and flat life and pensions sales at £8 billion, as a result of withdrawing from the unprofitable bulk purchase annuities market, handling the annuities for large businesses, a decision it made earlier in the year.

But the business said its internal rate of return, how it measures the profitability of its products, had increased from 15 per cent to 16 per cent.

Excluding bulk purchase annuities, sales were up three per cent, with protection sales growing by 23 per cent, individual annuities up by 11 per cent and group personal pension sales were up by 15 per cent.