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How we're doing

In 2015 we achieved record sales. We doubled our free operational cash flows after holding expenses compared with 2010. But in terms of underlying earnings, we didn't meet expectations in all of our businesses.

Underlying earnings

In 2015, underlying earnings before tax increased 4% to €1,939 million, supported by a strengthening of the US dollar. Excluding the impact of currency movements, earnings declined as growth in new markets was more than offset by adverse claims experience in the Americas and the impact of actuarial assumption changes.

Growth in underlying earnings from new markets was mainly the result of higher performance and management fees at Aegon Asset Management, as the business continues to attract new clients and show strong performance.

Underlying earnings before tax were negatively impacted by a €77 million one-time charge from assumption changes. Underlying earnings were also down as a result of the recurring impact of model updates, particularly in our universal life business.

We updated our models to better capture the expected customer behavior in an extremely low interest rate environment, as our customers paid premiums longer than we had expected. As a result, we had to credit more interest and pay out more claims to our customers than we had previously anticipated. The recurring impact is included in underlying earnings.

Net income

Net income declined by 48% to €619 million compared with 2014. Other charges amounted to €980 million before tax and were mostly the result of a loss on the divestment of our Canadian life insurance activities and the related model updates.

Sales

Sales increased 24% compared with last year, reaching a record high €10.7 billion. Our focus on fee-based business continues to lead to strong gross deposits.

Gross deposits rose 39% compared with last year, with noteworthy contributions from Asset Management, our US pension business and the Netherlands.

Strong sales growth, together with acquisitions, grew our revenue generating assets in excess of €700 billion for the first time.

Cash flow

Our normalized operational free cash flow after holding expenses increased compared with 2010 to €1.1 billion as a result of our strategic focus on fee-based business.

G-SII designation

In November 2015, Aegon was named as a Global Systemically Important Insurer (G-SII) by the Financial Stability Board following an assessment developed by the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS).

Inclusion on the list can mean closer regulatory scrutiny, and may require the development of recovery and resolution plans, although we do not expect this will constrain our use of capital.

updated May 6, 2016

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