TORONTO Feb 13 Manulife Financial Corp
reported a 20 percent rise in fourth-quarter profit as stronger
mutual fund sales and a C$350 million gain on the sale of its
Taiwan insurance business offset weaker insurance sales, but
results still fell short of estimates.
Manulife, Canada's biggest life insurer, said on Thursday
that net income attributed to shareholders was C$1.3 billion
($1.18 billion), or 68 Canadian cents a share, compared with
C$1.1 billion, or 57 Canadian cents a share, a year earlier.
Core profit, which excludes one-time items and
market-related gains and losses, was C$685 million, or 35
Canadian cents a share, up from C$554 million, or 28 Canadian
cents per share.
The average analyst estimate for core profit was 38 Canadian
cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Manulife sold it Taiwan insurance business to CTBC Life
Insurance Co in December.
Insurance sales in the quarter fell 32 percent to C$617
million, while wealth sales climbed 15 percent to C$12.2
billion, Manulife said.
"Insurance sales were slightly lower than what we would have
liked, but with better margins," Manulife Chief Executive
Officer Donald Guloien said in a statement.
Besides its Canadian operations, Manulife owns U.S. insurer
John Hancock and is growing in Asia, where it is present in
about a dozen countries.
Manulife has spent the last few years reducing its exposure
in financial markets after taking billions in losses during the
Its stock, which fell more than 75 percent between 2007 and
2012, has begun to claw its way back, surging 55 percent last
Late Wednesday, rival Sun Life Financial Inc
reported sharply higher quarterly profit, helped by rising
assets under management and a C$290 million gain from
restructuring of internal reinsurance arrangements.