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Business trends

Dai-ichi Life net profit soars nearly 30%

Overseas units help extend streak of records to sixth year

TOKYO -- Dai-ichi Life Holdings' net profit jumped 29.6% in the fiscal year ended March 31, buoyed by strong operations abroad.

The Japanese insurer reported 231.2 billion yen ($2.03 billion) in black ink Monday, marking a sixth straight record year and blowing past its forecast of 197 billion yen. U.S. unit Protective Life and other foreign insurance operations acquired through the American entity contributed to the earnings growth.

Gains on stockholdings from integrating asset management operations with those of Mizuho Financial Group also helped. Dai-ichi Life accordingly sees net profit dropping off about 20% to 179 billion yen in the current year through March 2018.

Two other Japanese life insurer groups have also announced fiscal 2016 results. Premium and other income fell at all three as they reduced sales of single-premium policies, whose margins shrank because of ultralow interest rates. Dai-ichi Life's income slid roughly 20% to 4.46 trillion yen. T&D Holdings -- the parent of Daido Life Insurance, Taiyo Life Insurance and T&D Financial Life Insurance -- suffered a 4% drop to 1.5 trillion yen. Sony Life Insurance's income slid 7% to 956.7 billion yen.

Fundamental profit, or core earnings, increased at the trio as an improved market environment enabled them to shrink reserves for insurance payouts. Dai-ichi Life's profit rose 3% to 558.4 billion yen, while T&D logged a gain of 5% to 159.9 billion yen. And at Sony Financial Holdings unit Sony Life, profit roughly doubled to 83.8 billion yen.

(Nikkei)

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