Dutch diversified financial services company ING Group has solidly increased profits for its nine month results thanks to growth in its pension business and strong profitability from its savings arm.

For the first nine months underlying profit before tax increases 17% to E6.4 billion, while earnings per share rose 20% to E2.47 from E2.06. The company said that strong growth of retirement services and pensions in the US and Central Europe was a key contributor.

Meanwhile, ING Direct, the company’s savings arm, achieved a before-tax profit rises of 36% over the previous corresponding period. Retail banking was only slightly behind with a rise of 31%. ING added that its insurance business also improved during the three quarters by just under 10%.

ING posted strong profit growth, driven by a solid performance of the underlying business due to our continued focus on improving execution and investing for growth and value creation. Underlying results in the third quarter were particularly strong, resulting in a record profit, said Michel Tilmant, chairman of ING’s executive board.