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Report on Business Sun Life profit misses estimates as wealth sales fall in Canada unit

Sun Life Financial missed estimates for quarterly earnings on Wednesday, as weaker wealth sales hurt its performance in domestic market.

Wealth sales, which include mutual and managed funds, fell 26 per cent in the quarter compared to a year ago and overall sales in the category fell about 10 per cent to $35.99-billion.

Underlying net income in the country fell 20 per cent to $237-million.

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Canadian insurers have increasingly looked to Asia for growth, selling to the region’s burgeoning middle class population, and to diversify from domestic markets where competition is intense.

However, net income, excluding one-off items, fell 5 per cent in its Asia unit to $122-million.

Overall net income, excluding one-time items, fell to $717-million (US$531.98 million), or $1.20 per share, in the first quarter ended March 31, from $770-million, or $1.26 per share, a year earlier.

On a per share basis, Sun Life posted a profit of $1.20 per share, while analysts had expected $1.21, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

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