NU Online News Service, July 23, 2003, 6:22 p.m. EDT – AFLAC Inc., Columbus, Ga., is reporting $248 million in net income for the second quarter on $2.9 billion in revenue, up from $212 million in net income on $2.5 billion in revenue for the second quarter of 2002.

AFLAC, which is best known for creating the modern Japanese cancer insurance market, benefited from strong results in Japan and improvements in the strength of the Japanese yen relative to the strength of the U.S. dollar, the company says.

Despite the continuing success of the AFLAC Duck, who has become famous enough to be parodied last spring on Saturday Night Live, new U.S. sales increased only 4% during the second quarter.

But “we balance those results against very strong sales growth at AFLAC Japan,” says AFLAC Chairman Daniel Amos.

New sales increased 11% in Japan, and sales of a medical insurance rider to cancer policies and a stand-alone medical insurance policy were particularly strong, AFLAC says.

AFLAC hopes to improve U.S. results by strengthening agent recruiting and training efforts, the company says.