(Bloomberg) — Manulife Financial Corp., Canada’s largest life insurer, said fourth-quarter profit rose 20 percent as asset-management revenue increased in Canada and the U.S.
Net income climbed to C$1.3 billion ($1.2 billion), or 68 cents a share, from C$1.08 billion, or 57 cents, a year earlier, the Toronto-based firm said today in a statement. Profit excluding some items was 35 cents a share, missing the 37-cent average estimate of 10 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
Canadian insurers including Manulife are focusing on money management and other less capital-intensive businesses as they seek to cut risks and increase fee revenue. Fitch Ratings lifted Manulife’s outlook to stable from negative last month, citing the insurer’s efforts to limit losses from market fluctuations.
“Wealth sales were simply outstanding,” Chief Executive Officer Donald Guloien, 56, said in the statement. “Insurance sales were slightly lower than what we would have liked, but with better margins.”
Asset-management sales rose 15 percent to C$12 billion as Canada and the U.S. led gains. In Canada, sales of individual wealth products rallied 24 percent to C$3.1 billion, while revenue from the U.S. unit rose 22 percent to $7.1 billion.