Solid sales in both the United States and Japan helped fuel a 30% increase in earnings for the second quarter at Aflac Inc., Columbus, Ga. [@@]

The supplemental health and life insurer is reporting $336 million in net income for the latest quarter on $3.6 billion in revenue, up from $258 million in net income on $3.2 billion in revenue for the second quarter of 2004.

Aflac’s 1.2% sales growth in Japan and 9.2% sales growth in the United States was in line with expectations, according to Andrew Kligerman, an analyst at UBS Securities L.L.C., New York.

The fact that domestic agent recruitment increased 11.5% bodes well for growth in 2006, Kligerman writes in a comment on Aflac’s earnings.

“In Japan, new product introductions are driving favorable sales trends,” Kligerman writes. He notes that Aflac’s sales of medical insurance in Japan grew 29%.

In the United States, the introduction of a vision product and the upcoming introduction of a hospital indemnity plan could help drive growth in domestic sales, Kligerman writes.