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Manulife Financial Corp. says its net income attributable to shareholders soared to $1.47 billion in the second quarter on a growth in new business in Asia.

The Toronto-based insurer earned 73¢ per diluted share for the three months ended June 30, up about 20% from 61¢ per share a year earlier when it earned $1.27 billion.

Excluding one-time items, adjusted or core earnings increased 1.5% to $1.45 billion from $1.43 billion.

That equalled 72¢ per share, 2¢ higher than the second quarter of 2018 and 1¢ above analyst forecasts, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.

Total revenues surged to $22.22 billion, including $8.7 billion from premiums. That’s up from $13.7 billion, including $8.75 billion in premiums a year earlier.

Overall, new business climbed 16.5% to $479 million, including a 9% increase in Asia to $364 million, unchanged at $65 million in Canada and $50 million in the U.S., up from $12 million in the prior year.

Core business in Asia increased 15% to $471 million, fell in Canada to $312 million and was relatively stable at $441 million in the U.S.

“We have continued to focus on executing our strategy, with capital released from portfolio optimization increasing to $3.7 billion,” said CEO Roy Gori.

“We have also taken steps to further strengthen Manulife’s long-term growth opportunity in Asia, including entering into an asset management joint venture agreement in India.”

Manulife also announced on Wednesday that Julie Dickson and Guy Bainbridge have been appointed to its board of directors, effective immediately.

Dickson, a former superintendent of the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, will join the board’s management resources and compensation committee. Bainbridge, previously a partner with KPMG LLP, will join the audit committee and the corporate governance and nominating committee.

“Julie and Guy bring extensive experience and expertise that will be tremendously valuable in supporting the effective oversight of Manulife’s strategy and operations,” Manulife board chair John Cassaday said in a statement.