Manulife Financial has reported a net income of C$1.2bn, or C$0.62 diluted earnings per share, for the first quarter of 2012, compared to C$985m, or C$0.53 diluted earnings per share, for the same period in 2011.

The total revenue for the first quarter of 2012 declined to C$3.81bn, compared to C$7.06bn for the same period a year ago.

The company’s US division’s net income decreased to C$574m for the quarter, compared to C$715m for the year ago period.

Asia division’s net income surged to C$1.1bn, compared to C$351m for the same period prior year.

Canadian division’s net income was C$317m, compared to C$509m for the same period last year.

Manulife president and CEO Donald Guloien said that the company’s first quarter reflects strong markets, positive hedging results, 35% higher insurance sales, and stronger underlying earnings relative to the fourth quarter of 2011.

"The strength of our underlying earnings reflects our healthier business mix, with the emphasis on wealth management and insurance products with less risk, higher margins and higher returns,"Guloien said.

Manulife, in addition to reporting quarterly results, has hired Steve Roder as incoming senior executive vice president and chief financial officer (CFO) will report to Guloien.

In his role, Roder will manage and oversee the company’s global financial affairs, including actuarial and capital management, treasury, controllership, taxation, financial regulation, investor relations and reinsurance activities.