NU Online News Service, March 16, 2004, 1:53 p.m. EST – Strong investment sales helped New York Life Insurance Company, New York, overcome modest growth in domestic life sales in 2003.[@@]

The policyholder-owned mutual insurer is reporting $1.1 billion in net income for 2003 on $15 billion in revenue, up from $1 billion in net income on $13.7 billion in revenue for 2002.

The company notes that its surplus and asset valuation reserve grew to $10.8 billion, from $8.8 billion.

Sales of advanced markets products and individual U.S. life products increased only 3%, but “special markets” products adjusted operating revenue increased 13%, to $1 billion. The special markets unit sells long term care insurance. The unit also sells life policies through AARP, Washington, and U.S. professional association insurance programs.

Domestic retirement product sales were up 50% at the New York Life Investment Management unit and assets were up 14%. That helped increase investment management adjusted operating revenue 9%, to $779 million, New York Life says.

New York Life International is reporting 8% growth in adjusted earnings, to $14 million, and 10% growth in adjusted operating revenue, to $1.3 billion. The unit intentionally cut sales in Taiwan, where interest rates were very low, but sales in other markets, such as Thailand and China, grew rapidly, New York Life says.