* Q3 net profit 374 mln euros, vs 244 mln forecast
* Q3 sales down 4 percent to 1.55 bln euros
AMSTERDAM Nov 8 Dutch insurer Aegon
beat expectations for quarterly net profit, helped by lower
impairment charges, higher investment returns and a stronger
Aegon said on Thursday third-quarter net profit rose to 374
million euros ($477 million), compared with a forecast for 244
million in a Reuters poll.
Underlying earnings rose 31 percent to 472 million euros,
beating a forecast for 435 million, while sales fell 4 percent
to 1.55 billion.
Aegon reported 405 million euros in life insurance sales in
the period, mostly in the United States with weaker markets in
the Netherlands, Britain and Spain.
Chief executive Alex Wynaendts said while there were signs
of gradually improving market conditions, there remained
considerable uncertainty. "Consequently ... it is prudent and
necessary to maintain a sufficient financial buffer while at the
same time adhering to our strict risk and pricing discipline."
($1 = 0.7840 euro)
(Reporting by Anthony Deutsch; Editing by Dan Lalor)