GLOBAL - ING Group, the Dutch international financial services company, bucked the recent trend of downturns in IH profits by posting a positive 16% result.
Operational net profit was EUR2403m ($2,039m). Compared to the last quarter of 2001, profits grew 12.5%.
Assets under management grew 7.2% during the first six months of 2001 to EUR539.2bn due to the inclusion of new operations and organic growth.
Net profit from insurance operations rose 28.4%to EUR1,463m with positive contributions from both life and the non-life operations, said the firm.
Banking operations rose 0.9% to EUR940m, compared with 1H of 2000, and 12.6% over second quarter 2000.
Commenting on the results Ewald Kist, chairman, said: Thanks to the good mix of businesses - in terms of geography, products and distribution channels - ING was able to weather the adverse economic climate and stock market conditions.
I am pleased with continued growth in many of our business lines, especially ING Direct, the greenfields and employee benefits.
Kist added that acquisitions in the US, tight cost control and one-off gains contributed to the overall 16% increase.
ING’s executive maintained that provided there was no further deterioration of global financial markets its earlier expectation of a total increase in net profits per share of at least 17% for 2001- including figures for ReliaStar, Aetna Financial Services and Aetna International - should be met.
Total assets for ING Group stood at EUR 706.6bn, an increase of 8.7% in the first half of 2001. Shareholders' equity declined 3.2% in the first six months to EUR 24.5bn.
ING will announce Q3 2001 results on November 21, followed by annual results on February 28, 2002. By Madhu Kalia
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