UPDATE 1-Asia insurance inflows give Ageas a record first quarter
* Insurance net profit 157 mln euros vs f'cast 155 mln
* Q1 inflows up 20 pct to 6.8 bln eur
* Asian inflows rise 54 pct (Adds details on Asia inflows)
BRUSSELS, May 15 (Reuters) - Belgian insurer Ageas attracted record inflows of 6.8 billion euros ($8.8 billion) in the first quarter, as takings in Asia rose by over half, driven by sales through banks in China, it said on Wednesday.
That left its net profit from insurance in line with expectations, as a better-than-expected performance in Asia offset weakness in Europe.
The company, which also sells life insurance in Belgium under the brand AG Insurance and car and fire insurance for the supermarket group Tesco in Britain, said its overall net profit from insurance operations reached 157 million euros in the first quarter.
That was broadly in line with 155 million euros expected on average in a Reuters poll.
Ageas said its first-quarter sales campaign in China had been extremely successful so far in 2013, producing 1.2 billion euros in single premiums, more than three times the level last year.
"Record quarterly inflows close to 7 billion euros were fueled in particular by strong sales in Asia," Chief Executive Bart De Smet said in a statement.
Inflows in Asia rose 54 percent to 3.4 billion euros in the quarter, it said. ($1 = 0.7705 euros) (Reporting by Ben Deighton; Editing by David Holmes)
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