Aegon’s pre-tax earnings fell 18 per cent year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2013, which the insurer puts down to a £7m investment in its new self-serve platform.
Underlying earnings before tax in Q4 were £18m, down from £22m in the fourth quarter of 2012.
Earnings from Aegon’s life business increased 53 per cent from £17m to £26m, while its pensions division – which includes distribution arm Origen – suffered a £9m loss due to a £7m investment in its new platform and a “one time” loss of £2m.
Aegon says it will launch its self-service platform for non-advised clients in the first half of 2014. The platform will allow clients to self-direct their investments while retaining an adviser relationship.
The new proposition will sit alongside the Aegon Retirement Choices platform and is aimed at allowing clients with smaller amounts of investable assets to invest directly whilst pointing them to the adviser as they accumulate wealth.
Income before tax fell 48 per cent from £42m in the fourth quarter of 2012 to £22m in the same quarter of 2013.
The group saw its underlying earnings increase 7 per cent to £391m.
Aegon UK chief executive Adrian Grace says: “We’ve now reported strong quarterly results for the past eight quarters. Our solutions are being well received with sales for the year up 13 per cent on the previous year.
“More importantly we have managed to do this while continuing to invest in the transformation of the business from a traditional product provider to a digital platform business. In the last quarter we made strides in this transformation, bringing both servicing and development capabilities of our multi award winning platform, Aegon Retirement Choices, in-house to Edinburgh and completing a recruitment drive for 200 new platform roles.”