"During 2007, Aegon's businesses delivered solid performance, as demonstrated by increased sales, deposits and growth in underlying operating earnings.
Aegon continues to maintain its strong financial position. Despite the turbulence currently underway in world financial markets, we experienced no material impairments to Aegon's investment portfolio during the year, nor did we have any impairments related to our subprime mortgage-backed securities during the year. Aegon's subprime portfolio, totaling EUR 2.9 billion, continues to be high quality with over 99% rated double- and triple-A.
Net operating earnings for the year were stable at constant currency exchange rates and net underlying earnings were up 9% by the same measure, a reflection of solid business performance. Net income in 2007 declined mainly as a result of lower non-operating earnings in the Netherlands. Revenue generating investments increased 2% or 11% at constant currency exchange rates, reflecting the continued growth of our existing business, in addition to the acquisition of the Merrill Lynch life companies last December.
The better-than-expected progress our businesses made in the Americas, Europe and Asia toward Aegon's 2010 value of new business target led us to increase the target by 14% to EUR 1.25 billion. This fourth consecutive year of VNB growth resulted in a record EUR 927 million in 2007.
The completion of a EUR 1 billion share repurchase plan in November and the 13% increase in Aegon's full year dividend to EUR 0.62 per common share are evidence of our continued strong cash flows and solid capital position. At the same time, we continue to have sufficient capital to support the organic growth of our businesses while pursuing acquisition opportunities that are consistent with our pricing discipline.
We further strengthened Aegon's distribution network with our new partnership with Barclays in the United Kingdom; an agreement with one of Taiwan's leading banks, Taishin; an asset management joint venture with China's Industrial Securities; and a fourth regional bank partnership in Spain with Caja Cantabria. Aegon's partnership with Merrill Lynch will serve to enhance Aegon's position as a leading provider of life insurance and variable annuity products in the United States.
I am very grateful to the Supervisory Board for having had the opportunity to lead Aegon as Chairman these past several years. Along with my Executive Board and Management Board colleagues, we have focused on improving Aegon's solid balance sheet, enhancing the Group's distribution strength, expanding Aegon's global footprint, and positioning our businesses to capture continued growth in both our established and developing markets. I also wish to thank our many distribution partners and our 30,000 employees whose dedication and commitment justifies the trust of our customers in helping them create better futures for themselves and their families.
Finally, I welcome the selection of Alex Wynaendts to lead Aegon into its next phase of growth during what will continue to be an exciting time for the life insurance and pensions business internationally."