ING Group reports on first six months 2003

Results pick up supported by stock market recovery and tight cost control:

  • Operating net profit EUR 2,068 million, +6.4% above first six months 2002, per share EUR 1.04 (+4.0%)

  • Banking operating net profit +14.6%, insurance +1.8%

  • Second quarter operating net profit: +29% above first quarter 2003; +15% above second quarter 2002

  • Interim dividend EUR 0.48 per share, equal to interim dividend 2002

Chairman´s statement
'Overall, I am pleased with ING´s performance in the first half of 2003,' said Ewald Kist, chairman of the Executive Board. 'On the banking side the upward trend from the first quarter continued in the second quarter, leading to 15% profit increase in the first six months. On the insurance side results were supported by the worldwide recovery of stock markets. Our US life insurance operations were able to considerably improve on first quarter performance as a result of favourable effects of the rebounded equity markets, lower investment losses and tight cost control. In addition, the effect of the negative revaluation reserve shares on first quarter 2003 net profit was almost entirely undone as a result of improved stock markets in the second quarter. Although low interest rates and the strong euro remain an ongoing challenge, I am confident that ING is well-positioned for long-term profit growth.'

Asset management performs solidly despite impact of strong euro
The functional operating result before taxation from asset management activities improved strongly by 33.7% to EUR 226 million. This figure is derived by breaking out the asset management profit contribution from the insurance and banking results.

Assets under management increased by EUR 3.4 billion (+1%) to EUR 452.4 billion compared to year-end 2002. Net inflow grew solidly by EUR 10.8 billion. All regional EC´s and ING Real Estate contributed to this development. Rising stock markets in the second quarter had an overall positive impact on assets under management of EUR 7.6 billion in the first half of 2003. The stronger euro lowered assets under management by EUR 21.0 billion. ING changed its definition of assets under management to conform more closely with industry practice. This restatement led to a net increase in total assets under management of EUR 6.0 billion.

The investment performance of ING´s asset management businesses continues to be acceptable. On a 3-year horizon, 57% of global fund assets delivered an above median investment performance.

Outlook 2003
The results for the second quarter confirm the Executive Board´s optimism about the further development of ING´s result in 2003. However, given the high level of uncertainty with respect to interest rates and stock markets, the Executive Board will not yet make a forecast for ING´s 2003 full year profit.

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