Aegon profit up 28.4% as insurance sales rise

`They have executed their strategy very well'

November 12, 1999|By Bill Atkinson | Bill Atkinson,SUN STAFF

Aegon N.V., the large Dutch insurance company that employs about 800 people in Baltimore, reported yesterday that its third-quarter profit surged 28.4 percent, driven by increasing sales of life insurance, accident and health insurance and banking products.

The company, which for the first time included San Francisco-based Transamerica Financial Corp. in its results, made $438 million in the third quarter that ended Sept. 30, or 68 cents per share, compared with $341 million, or 59 cents a share, in the corresponding period last year.

"Aegon has just been a brilliant performer going back five or 10 years," said Tom Burnett, an analysts at Merger Insight in New York. "I think they have executed their strategy very well."

Aegon's profit in the first nine months of the year jumped 19.5 percent to $1.2 billion, compared with profit of $985 million reported for the corresponding period in 1998. Aegon's units in the Americas made $636 million in the nine-month period, representing 54 percent of the company's profit.

Revenue rose 15.3 percent in the first nine months of the year to $16.4 billion, compared with $14.2 billion in the corresponding period in 1998.

"Our outlook for the results for the whole of 1999 remains unchanged and looks bright," Aegon Chairman Kees Storm said in a statement.

Storm said that growing assets, bolstered by last year's Transamerica deal, will support the company's "continued earnings growth in the new millennium."

Aegon completed its $10.8 billion acquisition of Transamerica on July 21, and moved its U.S. headquarters from Baltimore to San Francisco.

Employees in Baltimore were not affected by the move. They work for Aegon's Monumental Division, which sells life insurance through employee agents; and the Aegon Special Markets Group, which sells supplemental life and health insurance products.

Donald J. Shepard, who ran Aegon USA, was named president and chief executive officer of the combined Aegon USA/Transamerica operation.

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