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Pension boost for Aegon business

Aegon UK finance director Mark Laidlaw says strong new business figures have helped the firm to cope with the recent market volatility.

Overall new business rose by 16 per cent to £91m although there was a 22 per cent fall in underlying earnings for the first half of this year to £71.9m from £92.6m in the first half of 2007.

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

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

Laidlaw says: “We have seen strong second-quarter growth of 10 per cent as we continue to build momentum into the business. Our product innovation continues to serve us well through the likes of 5 for Life and Income for Life. We have also seen our annuity business grow 17 per cent, making us one of the leading players in an area where we expect further growth as we meet the growing demands of the baby boomer generation.”

Earnings from asset management fell by 19 per cent to £304m from £377m. Second-quarter figures were static at £192m.

Laidlaw says: “We believe strongly in the performance and position of our funds in the market with much of the fall coming from the lack of institutional mandates being made available because of market conditions.”

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