Aviva life sales dented by Europe crisis

British insurer Aviva said its life insurance sales fell in the first nine months of the year, reflecting tough conditions in its key European markets and a decision to walk away from less profitable business.

Aviva, Britain's second-biggest insurer, had life insurance sales of £23.6bn in the nine months to 30 September, down eight per cent compared with the same period last year, it said in a trading update.

The decline in life sales was partly offset by a better performance in general insurance, where sales were up nine per cent at £7bn.

"Whilst the market is likely to remain challenging in the near term, we continue to make good strategic progress and are strengthening customer franchises in key markets," Aviva Chief Executive Andrew Moss said in a statement.