NU Online News Service, Aug. 4, 2004, 4:23 p.m. EDT

Steady sales of equity indexed annuities and efforts to cut operating expenses helped AmerUs Group Inc., Des Moines, Iowa, increase second-quarter profits.[@@]

The life insurer is reporting $49 million in net income for the latest quarter on $344 million in revenue, up from $44 million in net income on $456 million in revenue for the second quarter of 2003.

The company’s sales of fixed annuities fell to $427 million, from $468 million for the second quarter of 2003, but AmerUs notes that the percentage of sales coming from equity indexed annuities increased to 82%, from 78%.

EIA profit margins tend to be higher than traditional fixed annuity profit margins, AmerUs says.