Mixed report for Aviva CEO and Cineworld holding out for its heroes

Thursday, August 8, 2019 - 09:17

“The FTSE 100 looked set for a seesaw session on Thursday, enjoying solid gains early on before these tailed off to leave the index sitting below the 7,200 mark. We are heading into the summer doldrums when a lack of liquidity in the market can result in increased volatility,” says AJ Bell Investment Director Russ Mould.

Aviva

“If the first set of numbers covering new Aviva chief executive Maurice Tulloch’s tenure read like a report on his first term at school it would indicate he is showing some promise but with clear room for improvement.

“General insurance, home, motor and so on, may be performing well but the life insurance arm had a tough period and, unsurprisingly perhaps given subdued investor sentiment, so did the asset management division. Overall the first half results are perhaps just a smidge ahead of expectations.

“With only six months in the role, a full outlining of Tulloch’s strategic plans for the business will have to wait until November.

“However, some pretty heavy hints were dropped today. The company is likely to continue to focus on driving down its cost base having already delivered £25m of the £300m in savings targeted by 2022.

“Aviva looks set to continue to reduce its borrowings to underpin Tulloch’s ‘ready and resilient’ message on the business.

“And it looks increasingly like market rumours over a sale of Aviva’s Asian business are on the money. While Asia has significant potential as far fewer people already have insurance and savings products, Aviva likely lacks the scale to thrive in what is also a highly competitive market.”

Cineworld

“Like something out of one of the blockbusters which grace its screens, cinema chain Cineworld is hoping for a big rescue mission in the second half of 2019 after a somewhat disappointing first half.

“If it is to meet expectations for the full year, which it reiterated its commitment to today, then the heroes of Star Wars, the Frozen sequel and the new Joker film will have to play their part.”

These articles are for information purposes only and are not a personal recommendation or advice.


The daily market update is written by Russ Mould, AJ Bell’s Investment Director and his team. The article highlights the movement in the main index, winners and losers on the day and any macro-economic announcements.