At a recent conference for analysts Holland’s ING Group indicated that it was “cautiously optimistic” about its earnings recovery for the year 2002, but refrained from making a full year prediction.
The company indicated that it is on target to increase earnings per share by around 12 percent, but is reluctant to commit to that figure because in its view there are currently “too many variables” which could affect 2002 results.
ING also stated that it was “around plan” for its operations in the U.S. reaffirming the continued progress it’s making in the integration of ReliaStar and Aetna’s financial and international operations, which it intends to complete by the end of the year.
Its online banking operation, ING Direct, is growing rapidly and now has 3.27 million clients.
While ING sees both the U.S. and European economies recovering this year, it warned that progress is slow and that a number of economic uncertainties remain. It forecasts faster growth, however, for the U.S. than for Europe.