The Principal had a great finish to a record-setting 2014. Full-year total company operating earnings were a record $1.3 billion, a 24 percent increase over 2013. Assets under management were also a record at $519 billion at year end. This is an outstanding result despite continued macroeconomic volatility and reflects the strength of our diversified business model and the ongoing momentum in our businesses.
I’d like to point out the other highlights from the year:
- All four of our operating segments had record full-year operating earnings.
- More than 85 percent of Principal’s investment options were in the top half of Morningstar rankings on a one, three, and five-year basis.
- Total company return on equity (ROE), excluding AOCI, was 14.2 percent, a 210 basis point increase over 2013.
- We continue to have a balanced approach to capital management. In 2014 we:
- paid a full-year $1.28 per share common stock dividend, a 31 percent increase over the dividend paid in 2013;
- increased our ownership in Columbus Circle Investors from 70 percent to 95 percent;
- repurchased $200 million of Principal Financial Group common stock;and
- announced plans to acquire AXA’s pension business in Hong Kong.
Our press release offers additional highlights from the quarter, including business unit-specific results.
In addition, mark your calendars for our upcoming investor event in Santiago, Chile on March 10th and 11th, 2015. Leaders from our Latin American businesses will provide an update on our strategy and opportunities for long-term growth in the region. I hope you can make it. It’s a great opportunity to learn more about these businesses. Please see our events page for more information.
Thank you for your continued interest in the Principal Financial Group®. Be sure to contact me or my colleagues in Investor Relations if you have any questions.
See you soon.
John Egan – Vice President, Investor Relations