(Alliance News) - Aviva PLC on Thursday said it is on track to meet its 2026 targets after a strong opening quarter.

The London-based insurer said general insurance premiums rose 16% in the quarter ended March 31 to GBP2.7 billion from GBP2.4 billion last year.

Protection & Health sales were up 5.0% to GBP106 million from GBP102 million.

Retirement product sales rose 13% to GBP1.7 billion from GBP1.5 billion.

Aviva Wealth saw a 15% increase in net flows to GBP2.7 billion from GBP2.3 billion.

Furthermore, compared to last year, the company's cover ratio remains strong at more than double its financial obligations.

Over the quarter, Aviva said it continued to execute its inorganic growth strategy, acquiring Canadian firm Optiom O2 Holdings Inc for GBP100 million, alongside AIG Life Ltd for GBP453 million.

In March, the GBP242 million acquisition of Probitas Holdings Ltd was also announced with completion expected toward the middle of the year.

Chief Executive Officer Amanda Blanc commented: "We are financially strong, we are trading well, and our investments in new products and customer service are paying off.

"We have clear competitive advantages - in our brand, our scale, and our diverse business - which are driving consistently strong performance, and giving us real optimism about 2024."

Aviva reaffirmed its guidance for operating profit to reach GBP2 billion by 2026, up 36% from GBP1.47 billion reported for 2023.

Aviva shares were down 0.7% to 492.65 pence each in London on Thursday morning.

By Elijah Dale, Alliance News reporter

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