The Aegon Group has seen its worldwide net income plummet 78% in Q1 this year, down from €707m to €153m.
The company, which has large operations in the Netherlands, US and UK, has attributed the sharp decline to extremely volatile financial markets as well as weaker currencies in both the UK and US.
In the UK, net income also plunged in Q1 this year, down 18% to £31m.
New single premium life sales fell 18% on the corresponding period last year, from £1.83bn to £1.5bn.
However, Aegon UK says the value of new business was up 3% in local currency, while margins continued to improve.
UK operating earnings before tax declined 23%, attributed to the impact of lower bond and equity markets on fund-related charges in the pension business.
Overall new UK life sales were down 2%, with individual pensions falling from record levels seen last year.
Aegon UK says while increased financial market volatility led to lower sales of investment bonds, it expects its small share of the onshore investment bond market to grow in the coming months following the launch of a new bond product earlier this year.
Earnings from life and protection operations grew 60% on continued growth in the firm’s annuity and individual protection businesses, but earnings from the pensions and asset management business were 26% lower.
Aegon UK CEO Otto Thoresen says the company’s strategy “is bearing fruit”.
“We saw steady growth in our annuity, individual protection and corporate pension businesses during the quarter,” he says.
“In addition, we're making strong progress with our bank distribution partnerships and our efforts to extend the range of products and services we offer.
“Financial market volatility, however, had an impact on both our earnings and on general market sentiment.”IFAonline
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