COLUMBUS, Ohio--Nationwide Financial Services, Inc., a leading provider of long-term savings and retirement products, today reported first quarter 2005 net income of $160.5 million, or $1.05 per diluted share, compared with first quarter 2004 net income of $119.6 million, or $0.78 per diluted share.

"This was a solid first quarter, reflecting steady progress," said Jerry Jurgensen, chief executive officer.  "While delivering the value our customers have come to expect, we continue to improve profitability by emphasizing financial discipline across the organization."

"We analyze operating performance using a non-GAAP financial measure called 'net operating earnings,' which we believe enhances understanding and comparability of our performance by highlighting the results from continuing operations and the underlying profitability drivers of our business, said Jurgensen. 

The quarter's net operating earnings were $143.5 million, or $0.93 per diluted share, compared to net operating earnings of $133.7 million, or $0.87 per diluted share, a year ago.  The 7 percent year-over-year increase in net operating earnings was driven by improved operating results in the three primary business segments.  In individual protection, pre-tax operating earnings increased 19 percent compared to a year ago, while retirement plans and individual investments reported pre-tax operating earnings increases of 3 and 5 percent, respectively.  These increases were partially offset by an 18 percent decline in pre-tax operating earnings in the corporate and other segment.

"Our results this quarter reflect the emphasis we've placed on solid execution and disciplined expense management," said Mark Thresher, president and chief operating officer.  "We are starting to realize operational efficiencies resulting from our realignment last year, and we've made significant strides toward improving the effectiveness of our product development and sales processes.  Continued progress in these areas will not only help drive stronger top-line and bottom-line growth, but will also help us better serve our customers and distribution partners."



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