Restructuring costs push Aegon UK into the red

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Aegon UK, the Edinburgh-based life and pensions firm, has blamed restructuring costs and the sale of a financial advice arm after posting a loss for the second quarter.

The Dutch-owned group, which has shed more than 1,000 jobs over the past two years in a bid to lower its running costs, recently unveiled plans to close all six of its regional sales offices, casting doubts over the future of a further 160 jobs.

Aegon has also sold Positive Solutions to independent financial adviser network Intrinsic, and today said it booked an £18 million loss on the deal.

Together with restructuring charges of £27m as the firm continues its shift towards doing more business online, the shake-up pushed Aegon to a net loss of £3m for the second quarter, compared with a £40m profit a year earlier.

New life sales grew 45 per cent to £247m, driven by “strong” group pension sales and the introduction of auto-enrolment, which compels employers to offer pension schemes for their staff.

Chief executive Adrian Grace said: “We continue to focus on persistency and costs to ensure a tightly controlled, well-drilled organisation that is focused on customer needs.”