Nationwide Financial Services, Inc. reports 3rd quarter net income of $136.4 million, compared with year-earlier net income of $125.6 million.[@@]

Sales for the most recent quarter totaled $4.1 billion, close to the year-earlier level.

Nationwide’s retirement product sales rose 8% to $2.3 billion in the quarter, from around $2.2 billion, largely due to an 11% growth in private-sector plans.

Individual variable annuity sales fell 6% to $915.4 million, while fixed annuity sales fell 41% from a year earlier, to $307.5 million.

Andrew S. Kligerman, a life insurance industry analyst with UBS Warburg, attributed the slump in Nationwide’s VA sales partly to a general industry wide weakness, compounded by the lack of a guaranteed minimum withdrawal benefit in the company’s VA products.