MetLife, a US-based life insurer, has reported a net profit of $877m for the fourth quarter of 2014, compared to $96m during the comparable period last fiscal.

The nine-fold increase in quarterly profit was due to lower claims and a smaller loss on its derivatives program, as its derivative loss after tax stood at $358m compared to $924m during the same period earlier year.

For the year ended 31 December 2013, MetLife net income stood at $3.2bn against $1.2bn during the corresponding period a year ago.

Total operating earnings for the Americas stood at $1.4bn, up by 13% compared to the same period last year, backed by strong results across the region.

Operating earnings for Asia were $324m, an increase of 64%, driven by annual actuarial unlocking charges in the prior year period, and unusually high investment income in the current quarter for Japan.

Operating earnings for EMEA rose by 51% to $89m, reflecting business growth in a number of countries as well as some positive tax-related items.

MetLife chairman, president and CEO Steven Kandarian said that the company is pleased with its results for the fourth quarter and full year.

"We achieved an operating return on equity of 12 percent for 2013 despite a decline in leverage," Kandarian added.

"We believe this demonstrates our strategy for creating long-term shareholder value is working well and leaves us better positioned for the current regulatory environment."