NU Online News Service, Nov. 1, 6:38 p.m. – John Hancock Financial Services Inc., Boston, is reporting $171 million in net income for the third quarter on $1.7 billion in revenue, compared with $184 million in net income on $1.7 billion in revenue for the third quarter of 2000.

Operating income, which excludes $35 million in losses on investments sold and marked down during the quarter, increased to $205 million, from $182 million.

Hancock sells life insurance, long-term care insurance, annuities and mutual funds.

Sales of new variable life insurance fell to $29 million, from $40 million, but sales of universal, term and whole life held steady at $15 million. Sales of corporate-owned and bank-owned life insurance increased to $39 million, from $19 million.

Thanks to strong sales of some products and high persistency rates, the amount of traditional, universal life and variable life coverage in-forced increased to $138 million Sept. 30, up 8% from Sept. 30, 2000.

At the LTC insurance unit, sales increased to $33 million, from $28 million.

New sales of individual coverage held steady at $18 million, and new sales of group coverage fell to $2.2 million, from $4.1 million. But renewal premiums for individual coverage increased to $83 million, from $67 million, and renewal premiums for group coverage increased to $23 million, from $19 million, Hancock says.

Sales of long-term care insurance increased to $33 million, from $28 million, and pretax earnings at the LTC insurance unit increased 41%, to $30 million, Hancock says.

At the asset gathering unit, sales of variable annuities and mutual funds fell to $993 million for the quarter, from $1.5 billion, but sales of fixed annuities, guaranteed investment contracts and funding agreements made up most of the difference by increasing to $1.5 billion, from $884 million.