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Aug. 13, 2020, 2:41 a.m. EDT

Aegon cuts dividend as profit drops 67%

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By Ian Walker

Aegon NV on Thursday cut its dividend by more than half as it reported a 67% fall in net profit for the first half of the year and withdrew its guidance.

The Dutch insurance and asset-management company said it will pay a dividend of 6 European cents (7 cents) for the half year, compared with 15 cents for the comparable period last year. Aegon said that it will retain the final dividend which was suspended to comply with the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority and the Dutch Central Bank's instructions.

Net profit for the half year ended June 30 was EUR202 million, compared with EUR616 million in the year-earlier period and consensus forecasts of EUR262 million, taken from the company's website and based on 19 analysts estimates.

Underlying pretax profit--one of the company's preferred metrics, which strips out exceptional and other one-off items--was EUR700 million, compared with EUR1.01 billion and consensus forecasts of EUR753 million, taken from the company's website and based on 18 analysts forecasts.

Aegon's Solvency II ratio--a measure of its balance-sheet strength--stood at 195% at June 30, compared with 197% at June 30, 2019.

The company has withdrawn its financial targets for 2020 and 2021 in light of the uncertain economic outlook and said it will set new ones at its capital markets day in December.

Write to Ian Walker at ian.walker@wsj.com

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