Sun Life posts growth in Q4’23, Asia’s individual sales driven by Hong Kong market

Regional office expenses and other factors resulted in a net loss of $12m.

Sun Life Financial’s Asia businesses announced a 6% increase in underlying net income, reaching $143m year-on-year (YoY). 

This growth was primarily driven by strong performance in individual protection, with sales momentum offsetting lower earnings on surplus, the company said in an earnings statement.

However, regional office expenses and other factors resulted in a net loss of $12m.

Reported net income for Asia amounted to $44m, down 52% from the prior year, largely due to ACMA impacts, partially offset by the impact of the Bermuda Corporate Income Tax Change.

In terms of sales, individual sales surged by 49%, reaching $536m, with increased demand in Hong Kong and international markets offsetting lower sales in Vietnam and China. Wealth sales and asset management gross flows grew by 12%, driven by higher mutual fund sales in India.

New business customer service margin (CSM) in Q4'23 saw a significant increase to $223m, primarily fueled by sales in Hong Kong and High-Net-Worth markets.

The company attributes its record sales and increased market position in Hong Kong to a diversified mix of high-performing distribution channels, including a new bancassurance partnership with Dah Sing Bank.

ALSO READ: Sun Life HK expands healthcare services for cross-border residents

The group’s overall performance

Sun Life Financial’s fourth quarter 2023 underlying net income reached $983m, marking a 10% increase YoY. The full-year underlying net income stood at $3.7b, jumping 11% YoY. 

The underlying return on equity (ROE) for the quarter was 18.4%, slightly higher than the full-year ROE of 17.8%.

Sun Life's business segments include a 7% increase in wealth and asset management underlying net income, reaching $439m for the quarter, and a 14% rise in group health and protection underlying net income, totalling $365m. 

Individual protection underlying net income also saw significant growth, up 23% to $284m.

However, corporate expenses and other areas incurred a net loss of $105m, representing a 46% increase in net loss from the previous quarter.

Reported net income for the quarter amounted to $749m, a 36% decrease from Q4'22, with a reported ROE of 14.0%. 

For the full year, reported net income increased by 7% to $3.1b, with a reported ROE of 14.7%.

Underlying and reported earnings per share grew 10.6% and 7.6% to $6.4m and $5.3m, respectively.


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