All operating units contributed positively to net income in the first quarter 2012. The increase to EUR 521 million was driven by higher underlying earnings, favorable results on fair value items and lower impairments.
Fair value items
The results from fair value items increased to EUR 156 million. These positive results mainly related to alternative asset performance in the Americas, the guarantee portfolio in the Netherlands and derivates in the holding.
Realized gains on investmentsIn the first quarter, realized gains on investments amounted to EUR 45 million and were the result of normal trading in the investment portfolio. Impairment charges Impairments decreased to EUR 41 million, the lowest amount in four years. Impairments continue to be primarily linked to residential mortgage-backed securities in the United States. Other charges Other charges amounted to EUR 17 million and consisted mainly of a EUR 17 million charge related to the full year 2012 Hungarian bank tax. Restructuring charges in the Netherlands ( EUR 3 million) and AEGON Asset Management ( EUR 1 million) were offset by income related to policyholder tax of EUR 6 million. Run-off businesses The results of run-off businesses amounted to a loss of EUR 2 million as positive results for BOLI/COLI ( EUR 17 million) were offset by a loss on the institutional spread-based business ( EUR 7 million) and the amortization of the prepaid cost of reinsurance asset related to the divestment of the life reinsurance activities ( EUR 9 million). Income tax Income tax amounted to a charge of EUR 45 million in the first quarter, including a benefit of EUR 51 million related to the run-off of the company's institutional spread-based activities in Ireland. Also, a EUR 27 million tax benefit was recorded in the United Kingdom as a result of an announced tax rate reduction and the Netherlands reported a tax benefit of EUR 19 million resulting from a settlement. Return on equity