Sun Life building and Place Ville Marie, downtown Monteral

Sun Life Financial Inc. says its profit was down 54% in the third quarter compared with a year earlier due to general market declines, and it also recorded a $170-million charge related to its sale of Sun Life U.K.

The insurance giant says it had a net income of $466 million in the quarter ending Sept. 30, down from $1.02 billion in the same quarter last year.

Adjusted income, or what Sun Life calls underlying net income, came in at $949 million, up 5% from $902 million last year.

Net income from the Canadian division was down 47% at $210 million, related largely to interest rate movements and lower equity markets, while U.S. profits were up 104% at $94 million as the company saw fewer Covid-19-related claims among other tailwinds.

Insurance sales in Canada were up 28% year over year to $233 million, driven by large case group benefits sales and higher individual participating whole life insurance sales, the insurer said.

Wealth sales in Canada were down 30% to $4 billion, reflecting lower defined-contribution and defined-benefit plan sales in group retirement solutions and lower individual wealth sales.

The company’s asset management division saw profits down 29% at $215 million, in part from an increase in acquisition-related liabilities, while its Asia division had profits down 57% to $125 million after the division saw a boost a year earlier from assumptions and other actions.

As of Sept. 30, Sun Life had total assets under management of $1.27 trillion, up from $1.26 trillion in the previous quarter and down from $1.39 trillion, or 8%, year over year.

The insurer said AUM decreased by 12% so far this year, mostly driven by unfavourable market movements, as well as net outflows from segregated, retail, institutional and managed funds.

During the quarter, Sun Life announced the sale of its U.K.-based division for about $385 million as well as the acquisition of a majority stake in U.S. firm Advisors Asset Management Inc. for US$214 million.