ING Profits Fall Slightly in 2002
Feb. 21, 2003
AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) _ Banking and insurance company ING Groep reported its profit fell 1.7 percent as it set aside more money on the chance it would be unable to collect on some loans.
The company said Friday it earned 4.50 billion euros ($4.88 billion) in 2002, down from 4.58 billion euros a year earlier.
It took provisions of 1.44 billion euros ($1.56 billion) to cover potential losses on loans, up from 750 million euros last year. The higher amount was needed to cover a ``potential loss on National Century Financial Enterprises in the United States,'' the company said in a statement.
ING held bonds from the now-bankrupt National Century, an Arizona-based company that financed health care companies.
Profits at ING's insurance operations rose 20 percent, countering a steep fall in banking. ING said insurance earnings improved in the Netherlands, North America, Asia and Australia, with U.S. life insurance a bright spot.
Chairman Ewald Kist said the company's balance between banking and insurance operations had saved it from a worse decline, and noted it was taking steps to make ING less vulnerable to stock market volatility.
Gert-Jan Geels, a broker at Dutch trading house Eureffect, said the company's business is faring well, and that it was a positive that ING _ with a quarter of its business in the United States _ had protected itself well against the fall in the U.S. dollar.
Revenue rose to 76.52 billion euros ($82.89 billion) from 74.16 billion euros in 2001.