TORONTO – Sun Life Financial Inc. (TSX: SLF) has posted at $435-million net profit in the third quarter, reversing last year’s net loss of $502 million amid a sharp increase in total revenue.
The Toronto-based insurance and wealth management company says net income amounted to 71 cents per diluted share, compared with a net loss of 84 cents in the prior year period when it booked a $1.37 per share loss from discontinued operations.
Total revenue, which includes both premium and investment income, improved to $5.61 billion from $4.16 billion.
Net premium revenue increased to just under $2.7 billion from $2.4 billion a year earlier, while investment income improved to $1.8 billion and fee income to $1.11 billion versus $808 million and $940 million in the prior-year period.
Sun Life said net operating income from continuing operations, which adjusts for certain factors, was $467 or 76 cents per share, up from $422 million or 69 cents in the comparable 2013 period.
Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had on average expected adjusted net income of $452.9 million or 74 cents per share.
“Our strong results this quarter were driven by earnings in Canada, MFS (Investment Management) and Asia,” president and chief executive Dean Connor said in a statement accompanying the earnings.
“The company is driving real growth, with assets under management up by 18 per cent over the same period last year to $698 billion and underlying net income up by 15 per cent. . . . “
The company’s quarterly dividend remained unchanged at 36 cents per share, but Connor said that “based on our financial position and outlook, in 2015 we will be revisiting our dividend level with the board of directors.”
Connor said operations in Canada showed continued strength in both insurance and wealth sales, with Sun Life global investments more than doubling sales of institutional and retail funds compared to the same period last year.
MFS generated a 33 per cent increase in operating net income driven by higher average net assets, while operations in Asian showed a 33 per cent growth in individual life insurance sales compared with last year and continued growth in underlying net income.
On the flip said, U.S. operations reported a small operating loss of US$3 million in the quarter.