Aegon returns to profit on lower write-downs

The bailed-out Dutch insurer Aegon NV announced on Thursday that it returned to profit in the third-quarter, helped by improved life insurance sales and lower write-downs.

Aegon said it pocketed net profit of €145 million (equivalent to $217.2 million) in the third-quarter, against a loss of €329 million in the year ago period.

The insurer reported €285 million in the third-quarter impairments, down from €407 million in 2008. In addition, the company reported lower losses on assets related to the US housing-market.

Company’s pensions and asset management has also swung from losses to profit.

Aegon also said that it had accomplished its 2009 cost-saving target of €150 million.

Aegon intends to pay back a third of the €3 billion loan it received from the Dutch state at the peak of credit crunch.

Aegon also named Mark Mullin to succeed Pat Baird from January 1, 2010 as the CEO of Aegon Americas.