MetLife reported strong profits in both the full year and the fourth quarter of 2011 despite a soft market, turmoil in Europe and an evolving regulatory environment.
Fourth quarter net income earnings were $1.1 billion, up from $51 million in the 4Q 2010. Full year net income was $6.7 billion up from 2.7 billion in 2010.
MetLife reported 4Q operating earnings of $1.4 billion, up 17% from 4Q 2010. Full year operating earnings of $5.4 billion were up 40% from 2010. Premiums, fees and other revenue sources totaled $45.7 billion for the full year 2011 up 32% over 2010 while total assets of $800 billion were up 9% compared to year end 2010.
MetLife’s business in the U.S. looked positive, spurred by strong underwriting results in group life as well as measured progression in non-medical health underwriting, most notably in the dental business. Retirement products and corporate benefit funding also helped drive revenues with premiums and fees totaling $7.6 billion, up 7%. U.S. business operating earnings of $932 million were up 4%. Upon review of deferred policy acquisition (DAC) costs, there was a $27 million after tax increase in U.S. business operations.
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U.S. retirement products, which include annuity products, were at $216 million, down 5%. MetLife feels the decline can be attributed to the negative impact of DAC as well as a lower variable investment income. However, when compared with the 4Q 2010 and the third quarter 2011, total annuity sales increased 41% and declined 15% respectively.