Netherlands-headquartered Aegon is the latest to reveal its first-half financials, and it looks like the insurance group didn’t take much of a battering amid what chief executive Alex Wynaendts called a “turbulent” period.
In the first six months of the year, Aegon saw its net income jump 26% to €618 million. Net underlying earnings, meanwhile, slipped 4% to €833 million. Broken down by operations, here’s how the numbers stack up compared to the first half of 2018:
- Americas – US$660 million, up 128%
- Europe – €115 million, down 60%
- Asia – US$8 million (change ‘not meaningful’)
- Asset Management – €43 million, down 23%
Net underlying earnings
- Americas – US$564 million, down 7%
- Europe – €346 million, down 3%
- Asia – US$27 million, up 64%
- Asset Management – €44 million, down 27%
Commenting on the interim results, Wynaendts stated: “In a turbulent first half of 2019, market movements had a negative impact on the capital position in the Netherlands. We have, however, maintained a strong Group Solvency II ratio.
“Our hedging programmes have effectively protected us against falling interest rates. In addition, we increased normalised capital generation and maintained a solid cash buffer. This allows us to raise our interim dividend by 7% to 15 eurocents per share.”
The group boss also highlighted developments in particular markets. In Japan, for instance, it was announced in the first half that Aegon was selling its joint ventures; in the UK, the Cofunds integration was completed.
“Furthermore, we took the first steps in transferring the administration of back books in the UK and the Netherlands to modern platforms,” added Wynaendts.
Meanwhile, Aegon UK chief executive Adrian Grace had this to say: “In the first half of the year we passed another milestone with platform assets rising from £128 billion at the start of the year and passing the £140 billion level for the first time.
“In combination with our existing business, total assets administered on behalf of customers hit £173 billion. In addition to strong asset growth we generated a profit of £61 million and remitted £160 million to Aegon group – our highest ever dividend paid.”
Grace said these figures reflect a consistent and profitable strategy by the business to develop a scale investment platform while at the same time efficiently servicing and supporting customers in older products.