Insurer Aegon reports first quarter profits drop on stock market loses

AMSTERDAM – Aegon NV, the Dutch insurer that does most of its business in the United States under the Transamerica brand, says first quarter profits fell sharply due to stock market losses.

Net profit was 204 million euros ($267 million), down from 525 million euros in the same period a year ago. Aegon said Wednesday that it lost 286 million euros on a stock market hedge intended to insulate the company from market fluctuations, but will book gains if markets fall. The company says that in the long run, its earnings would reflect only the underlying performance of its businesses.

On an underlying basis, earnings increased 1 per cent to 445 million euros, with earnings from the Americas rising 3 per cent on growth in Transamerica’s pensions and life insurance businesses.