Aegon net income increases 19%

AegonÂ's net income increases 19% to EUR 640 million for fourth quarter;
full year 2001 net income increases 16% to EUR 2,397 million. Net income per share increases 12% to EUR 0.46 for fourth quarter;
full year net income per share increases 12% to EUR 1.76. A 12% higher dividend proposed of EUR 0.83 per share.

Earnings outlook 2002
Due to economic uncertainty and volatile financial markets, a wide range of earnings forecasts for 2002 is possible. However, we have a positive outlook for the underlying growth of our core business. Therefore, barring unforeseen circumstances, net income and net income per share for 2002 are expected to be at least equal to the 2001 earnings.

Key points fourth quarter 2001
* Fourth quarter new business production featured almost a doubling of fixed annuity deposits to USD 2,187 million, a more than twofold increase in synthetic GIC production to USD 3,845 million, a 50% increase in mutual funds and managed assets deposits to EUR 3,144 million and a 13% increase in savings deposits to EUR 931 million. Variable annuity deposits, investment contracts and standardized life production were 27%, 43% and 11% lower respectively.
* Results include a EUR 343 million pre-tax gain (EUR 294 million after tax) on the sale of AEGON’s joint ventures in Mexico. An amount of EUR 602 million was credited to shareholders’ equity, which represents previously charged goodwill.
* Due to increased bond default activity in the United States, an amount of EUR 631 million (USD 565 million) was added to the provision of which EUR 538 million (USD 482 million) in the fourth quarter. The default provision balance at year-end was EUR 338 million (USD 298 million) for the USA investment portfolio.
* The acquired JC Penney’s direct marketing insurance operations added EUR 61 million (USD 55 million) to income before tax.
* Interest charges and other decreased EUR 75 million reflecting lower interest rates on debt allocated to insurance activities as well as EUR 20 million profit from run-off UK general insurance activities.

Key points full year 2001

* Net income per share increased 12% to EUR 1.76 reflecting the 16% increase in net income and the additional 55 million shares issued to acquire JC Penney’s direct marketing insurance operations.
* Net income from AEGON’s major country units, the Americas, the Netherlands and UK increased in local currency 15%, 7%, and 3% respectively. Total gross margin increased 13% while commissions and expenses increased 12%.
* Net income of EUR 31 million from the divested Labouchere operations was included in 2000 results.
* The effect on net income growth of the JC Penney’s direct marketing insurance operations acquisition, the removal of the cap on indirect return and currency translation amounts to 4%, 3% and 2% respectively. On net income per share, the effect is 2% each.

ChairmanÂ's statement
AEGON’s Executive Board Chairman, Kees J. Storm said: “While difficult financial market conditions continued in the fourth quarter, AEGON was still able to achieve its forecasted earnings level with the aid of the reported gain on the sale of our operations in Mexico. General account invested asset growth for 2001 was 16% and investments held for the account of policyholders decreased just 1% in a depressed equity market. We are very well-positioned to benefit from our strong portfolio of businesses in an improving economic and financial markets environment.”

A more detailed analysis of the earnings development and production in the 2001 full year is presented in the attached Earnings Report and Financial Data.

(source: Aegon)

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