AXA, Europe's second- biggest insurer, reported a 22.3 percent rise in nine-month group revenue that was boosted by higher sales in countries such as Britain and the United States. Total sales rose to 71.652 billion euros ($105.1 billion).

Life and savings new business sales on an annual premium equivalent (APE) basis -- an industry measure used to iron out market volatility -- rose 26.3 percent to 5.599 billion euros. Ten analysts polled by Reuters gave an average APE sales forecast of 5.542 billion euros.

Over the third quarter, APE sales came in at 1.722 billion euros, down from 1.778 billion in the second quarter.

Nine month property and casualty (P&C) insurance revenues rose 30 percent to 19.631 billion euros -- below an average forecast for 19.731 billion.

The French insurer also said that its asset management business had suffered some net outflows during the third quarter, when markets were rocked by losses in the U.S. subprime mortgage market.

AXA shares closed down 1.4 percent at 28.83 euros on Wednesday. The stock has fallen by around 6 percent since the start of 2007, broadly in line with a 7 percent decline in the DJ Stoxx European insurance sector.

(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Sue Thomas and Erica Billingham)