Global insurance firm Sun Life Financial Inc. posted a 1.2 percent dip in its operating net income for full year 2014 as its fourth quarter profits likewise dropped.
In a statement, Sun Life said it booked $1.92 billion operating net income last year, lower than the $1.94 billion it recorded in 2013 on the underperformance of its Canada unit, despite the firm’s net income increasing by 3.2 percent to $1.76 billion from $1.7 billion a year earlier.
The decline in operating net income for the full year was attributed to the drop in fourth quarter operating net income — down by 20.4 percent to $511 million from $642 million — as its reported net income likewise slipped by 12 percent to $502 million from $571 million.
Despite the reduced net income, Sun Life’s underlying earnings last year went up to $1.82 billion from $1.58 billion in 2013.
“We are pleased to announce strong growth in our full-year underlying earnings, up 15 percent from the previous year, despite a challenging fourth quarter, and we are on track to exceed our 2015 earnings objective,” said Dean Connor, president and chief executive officer of Sun Life.
Connor said its Canada and US units’ disappointing earnings were affected by “market factors, policyholder experience and Group Benefits morbidity,” while its Asian operations in the Philippines, Hong Kong, Indonesia, China and Malaysia did well.
“Asia continues to have strong momentum in the wealth business, particularly in Hong Kong where sales of Mandatory Provident Funds increased by 41 percent over the fourth quarter of 2013,” Connor said.
“The US [and Canada]group life and disability earnings were disappointing, and we continue to take actions to adjust pricing and expenses. We expect to see improvement in these results in 2015,” he added.
Incorporated in 1999, Sun Life Financial is listed on three bourses — the Toronto Stock Exchange, New York Stock Exchange, and the Philippine Stock Exchange — and engages in businesses such as life and health insurance, savings, investment management, retirement, and pension products and services for both individuals and corporate customers.
The company is present in major economies worldwide including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, China, India, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam and Bermuda.