Dutch financial services group Aegon has reported a net income of EUR81m for the fourth quarter of 2011, down 75%, compared to EUR318m for the same period in 2010.

Underlying earnings before tax for the fourth quarter of 2011 were EUR346m, compared to EUR452m for the same period a year ago.

Total sales declined 6% to EUR1.41bn, compared to EUR1.50bn for the same period in the prior year.

New life sales decreased 6% to EUR498m, mainly due to expected lower pension sales in the UK while accident and health sales grew 4% driven by growth in the Americas.

Aegon CEO Alex Wynaendts said that the past year was challenging, but also one of considerable progress for the company, having delivered on our key strategic priorities.

"The completion of the repayment to the Dutch State was a singular achievement, allowing us to turn our full attention to pursuing the clear opportunities for our business," Wynaendts said.