Better-than-expected net result for Dutch insurer Aegon
Dutch insurer Aegon reported a more than four-fold rise in third quarter net profit to 657 million euros (902 million dollars) on Thursday, far exceeding market expectations.
Analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires had predicted a figure of 247 million euros, up from the 145-million-euro result Aegon registered in the third quarter of 2009.
"The strong earnings performance during the quarter was driven by growth across most businesses, strict cost control, higher equity markets and the strengthening of the US dollar against the euro," Aegon chief executive officer Alex Wynaendts said in a statement.
Income from life insurance rose to 527 million euros from 492 million euros a year ago, mainly due to higher sales in the Americas and the United Kingdom, and favourable exchange rates.
Aegon received three billion euros from the Dutch government amid the global financial crisis in October 2008, of which it has repaid half to date.
"We reaffirm our aim to complete full repayment by the end of June 2011, market conditions permitting," Wynaendts said.
Aegon would seek to increase returns by reducing costs and investing in core capabilities. In Britain, Aegon would seek to reduce costs by 25 percent in its life insurance and pension operations by the end of 2011.
The company has about 28,000 employees and more than 40 million clients, mainly in the Netherlands, the United States and Britain. It holds the pensions of a quarter of Dutch citizens.
© 2010 AFP