NU Online News Service, Nov. 3, 2003, 5:45 p.m. EST – MetLife Inc., New York, says a big decrease in investment losses helped it increase its third quarter net income 75%.

The company is reporting $574 million in net income for the quarter on $8.8 billion in revenue, up from $328 million in net income on $8.1 billion in revenue for the third quarter of 2002.

Net income was up partly because the improving stability of corporate borrowers cut MetLife’s net realized investment losses to $151 million, from $286 million.

First-year premiums and deposits for universal life and variable universal life insurance policies fell to $186 million, from $210 million, but mutual fund sales increased to $772 million, from $766 million, and individual annuity deposits increased to $2.8 billion, from $2 billion.

MetLife notes that widening spreads between the rates it has promised customers and the rates it earns on its own investments helped increase operating profits at its group life business to $94 million, from $84 million.