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Principal Financial Group's CEO Discusses Q4 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Some of the comments made during this conference call may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act. The company does not revise or update them to reflect new information, subsequent events or change in strategy. Risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied are discussed in the company's most recent annual report on Form 10-K and quarterly report on Form 10-Q filed by the company with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Now I'd like to turn the call over to Larry.

Larry Donald Zimpleman

Thanks, John, and welcome to everyone on the call. As usual, I'll comment on 3 areas: First, I'll discuss fourth quarter and full year 2011 results. Second, I'll provide an update on the continued successful implementation and execution of our strategy. And I'll close with some comments on the financial strength of the company and our capital management plans.

The fourth quarter saw a continuation of a challenging external environment that had a negative impact on quarterly operating earnings. This includes continued volatility of credit spreads, especially on financials, low interest rates and the strengthening of the U.S. dollar against the emerging market currencies. Terry will discuss all of these in more detail.

Despite these external challenges in the fourth quarter, the diversified nature of our business model allows us to weather these difficult periods without any significant degradation of the strength of our financial position caused by having significant long-term equity or interest rate guarantees. This is a significant differentiator for many of our insurance competitors. Despite these external challenges, good momentum continued to build across our businesses in the fourth quarter, demonstrating our competitive advantage and the strength of our distribution relationships and product leadership. Some of the growth metrics from the quarter include strong quarterly sales of $3.3 billion for Full Service Accumulation, the third highest on record, contributing to strong net cash flows of $1.6 billion in the quarter; record quarterly sales of $3.1 billion in Principal Funds, contributing to record net cash flows of $900 million in the quarter; strong net cash flows for Principal International of $1.7 billion; and strong sales in U.S. Insurance Solutions, including $55 million in Individual Life sales in the quarter. These strong results will lead to improved earnings and continued growth in 2012 and beyond.

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