U.S. business helps power Aegon profits Insurer's net income up 14.3% in quarter


March 22, 1997|By Bill Atkinson | Bill Atkinson,SUN STAFF

Aegon N.V., the international insurance company that has its U.S. headquarters in Baltimore, said yesterday that fourth-quarter net income jumped 14.3 percent on brisk sales of life insurance and financial products.

The insurer reported net income of $272 million in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 30, 1996. Revenue was $3.6 billion in the quarter, up 6.4 percent from the same period a year earlier.

"Our outlook for the year right now is an increase in earnings and earnings per share in the range of 12 percent," said Robert J. McGraw, treasurer of the company, which has $105 billion in assets and is based in The Hague, the Netherlands.

McGraw said Aegon's acquisition of the Louisville, Ky.-based insurer Providian Corp., expected to be finalized this summer, will boost profits even higher.

Aegon's net income for 1996 increased 12.7 percent to $929 million, and revenue was up 10.7 percent to $14.5 billion from the same time a year earlier.

One of the business' drivers has been increasing life insurance sales. Gross life insurance premiums written grew to $7.6 billion, 18.8 percent from a year earlier.

Aegon got a boost from its U.S. operations, which showed

strong growth in sales of health insurance and financial products like retirement plans, mutual funds and money management services.

Aegon moved into Baltimore in 1986 when it acquired Monumental Corp., the parent of Monumental Life and Monumental General. The company employs about 800 in the Baltimore area.

In December, Aegon signed a definitive agreement to acquire Providian in a deal valued at $3.5 billion.

The acquisition would increase Aegon's assets to $117.5 billion, and it will make Aegon USA the country's ninth largest life insurer, up from 15th.

McGraw said the company did not know yet whether jobs would move from Baltimore to Louisville or vice versa.

Pub Date: 3/22/97

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