Insurer Aviva posted an above forecast 20 per cent rise in 2015 operating profit to £2.7bn and said its integration plans with Friends Life are ahead of schedule.
Aviva, which employs 2,000 people in York and 1,300 in Sheffield, bought rival Friends Life last year in a £5.6bn deal, creating a market leader in life insurance.
Analysts had expected Aviva's operating profit to come in at £2.49bn.
The life and general insurer said it will achieve its target of £225m in integration synergies with Friends Life in 2016, one year ahead of schedule and it expect £1.2bn in capital synergies.
The company's combined operating ratio, a key measure of performance in its general insurance business, strengthened to 94.6 per cent, against a forecast of 96 per cent. A level below 100 per cent indicates an underwriting profit.
Aviva said its solvency capital ratio under new European rules for insurers was 180 per cent. A ratio of 100 per cent shows insurers have sufficient capital to cover underwriting, investment and operational risks.
The company said it would pay a final dividend of 14.05p per share and total dividend of 20.8p, up 15 per cent from 2014 but below a forecast of 21.2p.