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Dutch insurer Aegon on Thursday reported third-quarter profits up more than six-fold to 374 million euros ($477 million), but said it was nevertheless necessary to maintain a "sufficient financial buffer."
The company said its profit leapt from 60 million euros year-on-year thanks to "higher underlying earnings, lower impairments and the non-recurrence of charges."
The profits were higher than the 219 million euros predicted by analysts questioned by Dow Jones Newswires.
Turnover stood at 1.55 billion euros, down 4 percent year-on-year.
"Although there are signs of gradually improving market conditions, there remains considerable uncertainty in the general economic environment," CEO Alex Wynaendts was quoted as saying.
"Consequently, we believe it is prudent and necessary to maintain a sufficient financial buffer while at the same time adhering to our strict risk and pricing discipline," he said.
Aegon said it had launched an online banking platform in the Netherlands and a savings platform in Britain.
"Increased sales in the Americas and the effects of favourable currency movements were offset by lower sales in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Spain," the company said.
Aegon, created in 1983 after the merger of two Dutch insurers, has about 27,000 employees and more than 40 million clients, mainly in the Netherlands, the United States and Britain.
© 2012 AFP
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