NU Online News Service, May 7, 10:35 a.m. – MetLife Inc., New York, is reporting $329 million in net income for the first quarter on $8.1 billion in revenue, up from $287 million in net income on $8 billion in revenue for the first quarter of 2001.

The latest results include $76 million in realized investment losses.

Operating income, which excludes investment losses and other gains and charges, increased to $400 million, from $384 million.

MetLife is one of several life insurers that have reported softness in sales of bank-owned and corporate-owned life insurance for the first quarter. But, excluding COLI and BOLI, the company says its revenue from new, first-quarter individual life sales increased 19%, to $198 million,

Mutual fund sales fell 17%, to $746 million, but individual annuity deposits increased 38%, to $1.7 billion.

On the institutional side, higher investment spreads contributed to a 21% increase in operating earnings, to $235 million, MetLife says.

Reinsurance operating earnings increased to $22 million, up from $15 million for the first quarter of 2001.