StockMarketWire.com - Aviva has said it intends to return at least £4bn to shareholders by the end of 2022, starting with a £750m share buyback programme.

The announcement, made as part of its interim results, comes as the insurer reports a 17% rise in operating profit to £725m for the first half of 2021.

Amanda Blanc, group CEO, said: 'We have made good progress on all fronts in the 12 months since we launched our strategy. We delivered strong cash remittances of £1.1 billion in the first half and we are on track to achieve our objective of over £5 billion in cash remittances between 2021 and 2023.

'In light of our confidence in the strength of the business and underlying cash flows, the Board has declared a 5% increase in the interim dividend to 7.35 pence per share.'

Since the appointment of its CEO in July 2020, Aviva has sold eight businesses across the world resulting in £7.5bn.

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