Aegon Profit Swings Despite Earlier Losses

Dutch Insurer Aegon, that owns TransAmerica in the United States, swung to a net profit of 145 million Euros in the third quarter from a previous year loss 329 million Euros.

The company said impairments had lowered from 393 million Euros a year to €285 million in the third quarter previous year, while the company had achieved its 2009 cost savings target of €150 million.

The quarterly profit is the first since the company was hit by financial crisis. Aegon reported operating profit of its largest life insurance business as 289 million Euros which was last year 214 million Euros.

The operating earnings of the insurance company have rose to a profit of 213 million Euros from a loss of 65 million Euros. The company's retail life insurance sales rose 11% in the U.S., while pension sales also were strong.

"Our first priority is to pay back the first €1 billion state aid," said Chief Financial Officer Jan Nooitgedagt. "Second priority is to repay the remainder of €2 billion and then we will look to growth opportunities from our own business and eventually acquisition options", he added.

The restructuring plan which will help the company payback its debts, awaits a response from the European Commission that will recognize Aegon's strong capital position. Mark Mullin will succeed Pat Baird as chief executive for Aegon Americas from Jan. 1, 2010.