Aegon's earnings rise 9% Monumental's parent sees further growth

August 23, 1996|By Bill Atkinson | Bill Atkinson,SUN STAFF

Aegon N.V., the big Dutch insurer that operates its U.S. operations out of Baltimore, said yesterday that its earnings rose more than 9 percent to $226 million in the second quarter ended June 30, compared with the same quarter a year ago.

Net income jumped 11.3 percent to $424 million for the first half of the year. The company earned 711.1 million guilders for the same period, up 15.7 percent from the same period in 1995.

"It is one of those periods where the numbers kind of speak for themselves," said Robert McGraw, Aegon's senior vice president and group treasurer.

On a per-share basis, net income jumped 15 percent to 2.69 guilders, or $1.61 a share, in the first half of the year.

Shares in Aegon, which are traded on the New York Stock Exchange, closed yesterday at $49.875 a share, up $1.25.

The Netherlands-based company, which operates Monumental Life Insurance Co. and Monumental General Insurance Group in Baltimore, upgraded its expectations for 1996, saying that its earnings in guilders should continue growing at the 15 percent clip, provided that exchange rates remain stable and there aren't any negative events.

The company said it will pay a semi-annual cash dividend of 1.18 guilders, or 71 cents, per share by Sept. 24.

Aegon's earnings were propelled by a 21 percent increase in premium income, which grew to 8.8 billion guilders in the first half of the year. Total revenue jumped 16.9 percent, to $12.7 billion.

"These are very strong figures, especially for life insurance," Heinie Hakker, an analyst with BZW in Amsterdam, told Bloomberg Business News. "They are good across the board. I had expectations for a 10 percent rise this year."

Aegon's operations in the U.S. showed big gains in premium income and revenues. Income before taxes from its U.S. operations grew 8 percent to $176 million, with most of the income coming from life insurance products.

Gross premiums from life, accident and health, and general insurance were $1.3 billion for the first half of the year, up nearly 22 percent from the first half of 1995.

McGraw said that Aegon USA's Asset Accumulation Group and Home Service Group should see strong growth throughout the year.

Asset Accumulation markets a variety of products, including variable annuities, universal life insurance, mutual funds and pension products. The Home Service Group markets life and health products to middle-income consumers.

Pub Date: 8/23/96

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