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Aegon recovers in Q2

Aegon’s life and pension sales bounced back strongly in the second quarter of 2005.

Sales in Q1 took a hit as the impact of commission cuts on certain pension product lines took effect but Q2 sales were 22 per cent higher than in the same period of 2004.

UK earnings rose by 40 per cent in the first half to 67m from 40.2m on an IFRS basis. However, half-year life and pension sales were down by 4 per cent to 321m from 333m on an APE basis.

The group was buoyed by strong growth in its asset management business to 669m in the first half of 2005 from 59m in the same period last year.

UK chief executive Otto Thoresen says first-quarter sales dipped after some competitors increased commission on life and pension products but he expects strong growth in the second half as advisers prepare for A-Day.

He says this has already been seen in the corporate pension market but the individual market has been slower to recover from its first-quarter torpor.

Thoresen says: “We expect a pretty strong market in the second half of the year and we have good momentum going into that. We have also been focusing on some areas we have not really before, such as group risk and onshore bonds, and they are coming through well.”

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