Strong life and annuity sales helped profits at Citigroup Inc., New York, during the latest quarter.[@@]

“Globally, business volumes in all life insurance and annuities businesses reached record levels,” the company says in a discussion of its third-quarter earnings.

Citigroup as a whole is reporting $5.3 billion in net income for the third quarter on $21 billion in revenue, up from $4.7 billion in net income on $19 billion in revenue for the third quarter of 2003.

The company’s Travelers Life and Annuity unit managed to increase sales of fixed annuities and variable annuities at the same time.

Net written premiums and deposits for variable annuities increased 12%, to $1.2 billion, despite the recent lackluster performance of the stock market. Meanwhile, the unit’s smaller fixed annuity operation pumped its sales up 35%, to $1.2 billion.

The Travelers Life unit is reporting $282 million in net income for the latest quarter on $1.5 billion in revenue, up from $163 million in net income on $1.4 billion in revenue for the third quarter of 2003.

Over at the Primerica Financial Services unit, a part of Citigroup’s global consumer division, variable annuity sales rose 22%, to $258 million, but net income rose less than 2%, to $136 million.