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Nationwide ends 2012 with nearly $1B in earnings

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Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company ended 2012 with close to $1 billion in earnings, reversing the company’s net loss in 2011.

The Columbus, Ohio-based multiline insurer discloses in its year-2012 financial results, ended December 31, net income for the year of $940 million, a substantial turn-around from the $677 million loss posted in 2011. Net income for the fourth quarter totaled $176 million, up 402 percent from the $35 million recorded for the year ago period.

Revenue in the four quarter totaled $6 billion, up 25.2 percent from the $4.8 billion registered in the fourth quarter of 2011. For all of 2012, Nationwide’s revenue totaled $22.7 billion, a 22 percent rise from the $18.6 billion posted in 2011.

Financial services net operating income for 2012 was $606 million, down slightly from $681 million reported in 2011. Nationwide attributes the modest decline to a net benefit related to customer acquisition costs in 2011 that helped prior year earnings.

The company reports that total financial services sales (including new and renewal production premiums and deposits) declined in 2012 to $18.2 billion, a 7.2 percent dip from the $19.6 billion recorded in 2011. However, excluding sales of variable annuities with living benefit guarantees, financial services sales were up 14.5 percent over 2011.

Mirroring an industry-wide trend, Nationwide states that sales of variable annuities with guaranteed living benefits declined in 2012 to adjust to historically low interest rates.

“Nationwide made similar adjustments to its variable annuity product in order to improve the company’s risk profile while maintaining its long-term commitment to the business,” Nationwide states in its year-end results. “The company saw broad growth across its other product lines, including fixed and immediate annuities, life insurance, retirement plans and mutual funds.

Total customer assets were $165.8 billion as of Dec. 31, 2012, compared to $160.4 billion at the end of 2011. Asset fees and other policy charges were higher for the year as equity market performance and net flows drove higher customer asset values.

Nationwide Funds Group, the insurer’s retail and insurance mutual fund operation, continued to grow, reporting $45.0 billion in assets under management, up from $40.9 billion in 2011. Nationwide Bank continued its positive momentum; customer deposits reached $3.8 billion, up from $3.4 billion last year. Customer loans were $2.0 billion compared to $1.5 billion in 2011, the company states.