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Aegon takes hit to profits but sales stay stable

Aegon UK’s profits fell by 23 per cent to £34.3m in the first quarter of this year from £44m in the first quarter of 2007.

New life and pension business of £288m API matched the first quarter last year.

Corporate pension business rose by 22 per cent to £119.4m from £97.8m, which the firm attributes to an increase in the number of group schemes and increments. Annuity business was up by 12 per cent from £30m to £34m.

Individual protection business increased by 17 per cent from £10.8m to £12.7m following distribution agreements with Barclays and HSBC.

Individual pension business was down by 5 per cent from £64.3m to £60.8m while offshore bond business fell by 13 per cent from £23m to £20m.

The launch of Income for Life, a guaranteed drawdown product for the pension market, is planned for late May.

Aegon Asset Management saw total sales fall by 40 per cent from £175m to £105m including a fall from £95m to £35m on the institutional side.

Aegon UK chief executive Otto Thoresen says: “In a challenging first quarter, our new business results are good. We have matched last year’s strong first quarter and improved the value of new business at the same time. We are now seeing the benefits of our product diversification strategy, with excellent growth in annuities and protection establishing a prominent position in markets which have been important development areas for us.”

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