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Aegon UK reveals 22% fall in pre-tax underlying earnings

Aegon has announced a 22 per cent fall in pre-tax underlying earnings for the first half of 2008.

Earnings dropped from £92.6m in H1 2007 to £71.9m in H1 2008 with the asset management arm falling 19 per cent.

The group has also announced a rise in overall new business figures of 16 per cent to £91m compared to 2007 figures.

Aegon has reported strong growth in life and pensions business, with the first half API up 4 per cent to £630m from 2007, with second quarter figures up 10 per cent on last year.

Aegon UK says growth has been driven by an increase in corporate pensions new business, both in new increments and new scheme activity, up 22 per cent and 35 per cent respectively.

Individual life and pensions also rose, with individual annuities up 17 per cent to £70m API. Individual protection new business also rose 16 per cent to £26m API.

Asset management fell to £304m in 2008, down from £377m for the first half of 2007, a loss of 19 per cent, second quarter figures were static at £192m.

AEGON UK chief executive Otto Thoresen says: “This year has brought challenges for the long term savings sector but Aegon UK is weathering the storm well. We have seen robust growth in life and pensions new business, driven partly by growth in corporate pensions. Our focus on corporate customers as well as retail customers means our business is more resilient to market volatility.

“On the retail side, we saw further good growth in our individual annuities business where we have underlined our position as one of the key players in this market. Aegon UK continues to innovate with new solutions to meet the needs of the baby boomer generation entering retirement. Our new income for life product has been warmly received and our 5 for life bond product is gaining momentum in the market as volatility prompts more investors and their advisers to seek guaranteed, yet flexible sources of income for retirement.

“Aegon UK has brought new thinking to capital management with our recent securitisation which released capital for use by Aegon in line with its global strategy. We are in a strong position to move forward in the UK long-term savings market in the months ahead.”

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