) -- Dutch insurer


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, which owns Transamerica in the United States, swung to net profit in the third quarter of 145 million euros ($216.9 million) from a year-earlier loss of 329 million euros.

The company said it had lower impairments in the third quarter of 285 million euros from 393 million euros a year earlier. Aegon said impairments on U.S. assets related to the housing market were "substantially lower."

The quarterly profit is the company's first since last fall when the financial crisis hit.

Aegon said its life insurance business, its largest, reported operating earnings of 289 million euros, compared with 214 million euros a year earlier.

The insurance company, which has most of its operations in the U.S., said U.S. operating earnings swung to a profit of 213 million euros from a loss of 65 million euros. The company's retail life insurance sales rose 11% in the U.S., while pension sales also were strong.

The company said it plans to repay on Nov. 30 1 billlion euros of the 3 billion euros it received in aid from the Dutch government.

-- Reported by Joseph Woelfel in New York


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