Positive Solutions and Origen continued to run at a loss in the second quarter this year but Aegon has reported a 25 per cent increase in underlying earnings before tax.
The Dutch insurer reported a £2m loss for the distribution businesses stating the firms “benefitted from improved business performance and market conditions, which limited losses during the quarter”.
Origen and Positive Solutions recorded a loss of £2m for the first quarter after posting losses of £8m in the fourth quarter of 2009, £3m in both the first and third quarters of last year and £2m in the second quarter – totalling a £16m loss for 2009.
Aegon refused to give an update on plans announced in June to cut a quarter of its costs in the UK as it announced that underlying earnings before tax jumped to £429m from £341m in the second quarter. Aegon cites improved financial markets for the boost and a stronger US dollar.
In the UK, underlying earnings increased slightly to £18m from £16m for the second quarter due to higher profits from annuities, which were partly offset by higher project-related expenses.
New life sales increased to £263m due to strong pension sales of £240m up from £169m last year.
Chief executive Alex Wynaendts says: “The significant increase in sales, underlying earnings and net income during the second quarter of this year demonstrate the continued strength of Aegon’s business. Consistent with our focus on serving the growing need for long-term retirement security, pension sales were particularly strong.
“We are implementing a number of key measures, as announced in June, to sharpen our focus on our core activities and improve returns, particularly within our business in the United Kingdom.
“Going forward, we will maintain our focus on better leveraging our broad resources, pursuing further operational improvements and putting Aegon’s provenexpertise to work for our customers in all our markets.”