UK - Aegon posted first quarter pre-tax profits of £32m for its UK operations, up 10% compared to the same period last year.
The insurance giant, which has £37bn in UK assets under management, attributed the increase to a combination of cost-cutting and stock market gains.
Aegon has set aside £5m to facilitate its cost reduction programme and it said that without this expense, first quarter profits would be 28% higher than they were at the end of March 2003.
Total new business for Aegon’s UK life assurance operations increased 9% – £15m – to £176m, compared to the same time last year. Within this, new annual premiums increased 20% to £104m with new single premiums marginally down 2% to £724m.
However, Aegon’s asset management new business fell more than 80% to £26m, compared to the £176m it brought in during the first quarter of 2003.
Group chief executive David Henderson said: “I am pleased at the continued development over the first quarter. Improving margins remains central to our strategy and while recent initiatives and the improvement in stock markets have helped, there are still challenges ahead.”
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