Canadian insurer Sun Life Financial says it has achieved record earnings of C$477 million for the second quarter 2005, an increase of 9% over last year's results.

Earnings per share were also up 11% over the same period. Sun Life Financial’s Canadian operations are said to have given the company 52% of the total profit, while its US arm strengthened its annuities wholesaling sales force to 75 by the end of the second quarter. The US group also increased its life and health insurance sales by 30%.

Sun Life’s Asia unit also reported an increase in earnings of C$19 million. SLF is hoping that its recently-acquired Hong Kong insurance and pension operations of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia will increase its presence in this region.

Donald Stewart, Sun Life chief executive, is also reported to be keen to rapidly expand the firm’s reach in Asia and in the US, through fears of seeing its Canadian operations fall in proportionate terms.

Meanwhile, reports indicate the profits of Sun Life’s corporate business fell in Q2, which the company attributes to last year’s gain.