The sale of key units helped push US insurance giant AIG -- a firm at the epicenter of the US financial crisis -- back to profit in 2010, but it still lost money on normal operations, the company said Thursday.
AIG, which received a $180 billion injection in 2008 to cover investments and liabilities that vaporized in the burst of the US real estate bubble, said it had a net income of $7.8 billion last year, compared to a $11 billion loss the year before.
The company got a boost from the $16.2 billion sale of its American Life Insurance Company, and earned $20.5 billion in the sale of shares in its AIA Group subsidiary.
That helped to offset large charges for deferred taxes and partial repayments for its bailout by the Federal Reserve, the US central bank.
Charges and one-off income aside, the company reported an after-tax operating loss of $898 million dollars, compared to a $781 million dollar loss in 2009.
"We completed several key restructuring milestones in the quarter and we remain focused on long-term growth and building value at our ongoing insurance operations and other businesses," said said chief executive Robert Benmosche in a statement.
"In 2010, we said we would realign AIG to grow our businesses and to ultimately repay the U.S. taxpayer. We remain extremely grateful to the taxpayers and have made significant progress since January
2010 towards independence from this support," he said.
Once the world's largest insurer, AIG received an injection of more than 180 billion dollars from the government after it veered on collapse in 2008 and threatened to take down a number of large banks with it.