NU Online News Service, Nov. 2, 2004, 4:34 p.m. EST
Strong employee retirement plan contributions helped pump up third-quarter profits at a large Midwestern insurer.[@@]
Principal Financial Group Inc., Des Moines, Iowa, is reporting $299 million in net income for the latest quarter on $2.1 billion in revenue, up from $184 million in net income on $2 billion in revenue for the third quarter of 2003.
Principal drew about $85 million of the increase in profits from a mortgage banking unit it sold to Citigroup Inc., New York. Net income at the operations Principal still owns rose to $195 million, from $169 million.
Operating earnings rose to $72 million, from $53 million, at the life and health insurance unit and to $123 million, from $108 million, at the U.S. asset management unit.
The strength of U.S. asset management results was due partly to a 24% increase in retirement plan deposits, according to Principal Chairman J. Barry Griswell. Total U.S. retirement plan deposits should total about $8 billion this year.