AVIVA posted annual profits above expectations as the insurance giant hailed the success of its advertising campaign starring actor Paul Whitehouse.
The group lifted operating profits by 26% to £2.55bn in 2010 – driven by cost cutting and a record result at its UK life and pension business and cost cutting.
Aviva launched a series of TV adverts starring Paul Whitehouse playing a variety of characters promoting a range of insurance products.
The group, which outlined plans in November to save £400m through cost cuts and efficiencies, said online quotes and sales rose by a third over the same period last year since the Whitehouse adverts launched.
Operating profits beat the £2.45bn forecast by City analysts.