Manulife head office building in Toronto, Canada. Manulife is a Canadian multinational insurance company.

Manulife Financial Corp. says it had a net income attributed to shareholders of $1.66 billion for the quarter ending Dec. 31, up 81% from $915 million in the same quarter last year.

The insurance giant reported core earnings of $1.77 billion, or 0.92 cents per share in the quarter, up from $1.54 billion or 0.77 cents per share last year.

Manulife says core earnings exclude the impact of market swings and some other factors to give a better indication of the long-term potential of the business.

Results saw its Asia core earnings up 14% to $414 million, Canada core earnings up 19% to $352 million, and U.S. earnings up 16% to US$349 million.

Global wealth and asset management had a 29% increase in core earnings to $353 million, though unadjusted net income was down 9% to $365 million.

Earnings from the 2022 quarter are based on adjusted results following the shift to a new accounting standard.

As of Dec. 31, 2023, the company had $1.39 trillion in assets under management and administration, up from $1.30 trillion in the prior year. The 9% increase came mainly from the favourable impact of markets and net inflows, the management’s discussion and analysis said.

Manulife’s AUM in Canada was $147.5 billion at Dec. 31, up 3% from the previous year due to higher total invested assets from business growth and the impact of changes in interest rates, the analysis said.

In Canada, individual insurance sales (annual premium equivalent) were up 36% year over year to $564 million in 2023, driven by a large affinity markets sale, partially offset by lower participating insurance sales, the analysis said. Annuities sales (annual premium equivalent) dropped 26% to $201 million in 2023, primarily due to lower segregated fund sales, it said.

The analysis noted that in Canada, Manulife re-entered the individual payout annuities market in 2023 “to better address our customers’ demand for stable income.”

On Nov. 15, Manulife announced it would acquire London-based alternative credit manager CQS, which has about $18.8 billion in AUM, for an undisclosed price.