NETHERLANDS - Insurance group Aegon reported positive developments in its fledgling Eastern European pensions business in its first-half results today.
In Slovakia, membership in Aegon's pension fund, one of the smallest in the country, has grown from 50,000 to over 150,000 members in the first six months. Aegon bought the small private pension fund in June last year for €35m.
And sales in the Hungarian pension fund business have also grown, with membership increasing by 38% to almost 600,000.
"Increases in operation earnings and value of new business, enhanced distribution capability and continued international expansion indicate that we are on track in implementing Aegon's growth strategy," the company said.
However, simultaneously the high start-up costs due to investments in the growth of for instance the Slovakian market contributed to a decrease of operating earnings elsewhere, the report stated.
UK institutional sales were lower, it said, reflecting the fact that the year-ago period saw two large institutional mandates won.

A spokesman who declined to be named said sales of managed assets were "somewhat lagging behind".
Aegon Asset Management UK, centred in Edinburgh, had about £40bn assets under management at the end of March 2006, up from £36bn in the year before.