Holland’s ING Group, one of the world’s leading insurance and financial services companies, earned net profits of $997 million for the first quarter of 2001, a 10.6 percent increase over last year’s figures and an 18 percent rise in comparison to fourth quarter figures for 2000.
The results exceeded analysts expectations. ING said that net profits from its insurance operations rose 29.5 percent to $600 million, and while net profit from its banking operations decreased 9.5 percent in comparison to Q1 2000, they rose 49 percent over fourth quarter figures to $397 million, a larger increase than had been forecast, and a stronger performance than other banks.
“Thanks to our broad mix of products, we are able to continue our growth under adverse market conditions,” stated ING Executive Board Chairman Ewald Kist, commenting on the results.
ING’s two recent U.S. acquisitions, ReliaStar Life, and Aetna’s financial services and international business contributed less than expected to earnings, which analysts blamed on the economic downturn in the U.S., but Kist expressed optimism that the company was still well positioned for future growth and reaffirmed its goal of a 12 percent increase in net operational profit for the year 2001.
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