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Sun Life Financial Q4 net income drops

Sun Life Financial has reported a net income of C$129m Q4 08 compared with C$555m in the same quarter of 07

Canada-based Sun Life Financial has reported a net income of C$129 million, or diluted earnings per share of C$0.23, for the fourth quarter of 2008, compared with C$555 million, or diluted earnings per share of C$0.97, in the same quarter of 2007.

Excluding the after-tax gain of C$825 million related to the sale of the company’s 37% interest in CI Financial Income Fund, operating loss for the fourth quarter of 2008 was C$696 million, or C$1.25 per diluted share, compared to operating earnings of C$560 million, or C$0.98 per diluted share, for the same quarter of 2007.

Earnings for the full year 2008 were C$785 million, or C$1.37 per diluted share, compared to C$2.2 billion, or C$3.85 per diluted share, for 2007. The operating loss for the full year 2008, which excludes the gain related to the sale of the company’s interest in CI Financial, was C$40 million, compared with operating earnings of C$2.3 billion in the same period of 2007.

Donald Stewart, CEO of Sun Life Financial, said: The fourth quarter concluded an extremely challenging year across the global financial services sector. While Sun Life’s overall financial returns are very disappointing, reflecting negative equity markets and a stressed credit environment, our balance sheet remains strong and well diversified. We are well positioned to win customers and pursue opportunities in 2009.