Holland’s ING Group reported that operational net profit rose 6.1 percent to €4.252 billion ($3.
764 billion) in 2001. Operational net profit from insurance operations did even better increasing by 19.7 percent to € 2.810 billion ($2.488 billion).
The results, while expected, were encouraging, given the difficulties the insurance industry experienced last year with weakening global economies, decreases in equity values, the Argentine currency crisis and the Sept. 11 attacks. ING managed to raise earnings per share by 5.3 percent despite a 13.1 percent decline in its banking operations, and feeble 2 percent growth in assets under management.
ING’s Executive Board Chairman Ewald Kist stated that “Our broad mix of businesses proved essential to conclude this difficult year with a 6.1 percent growth in operational net profit. In 2002, performance improvement has absolute priority.”
The company’s announcement indicated that it was “on-track” with the integration of ReliaStar and Aetna in the U.S., and it expects the procedure to be largely completed by the end of the year
However, the earnings announcement made no forecast for the present year, saying only that “The Executive Board is positive, but cautious about the economic outlook for the year ahead. Given the uncertainty about improvement of the economies in which ING is active, the Executive Board considers it prudent not to make a profit forecast for 2002 yet.”|”ing, reports, 6.1%, net, profit, rise, $3.764, billion
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