TORONTO -- Manulife Financial Corp. says its net profit dropped 23 per cent in its recent quarter as investment gains offset a charge related to lower reinvestment assumptions.

The Toronto-based insurer and financial services company says it earned $1.59 billion or 80 cents per diluted share in the third quarter, down from $2.07 billion or $1.04 per share a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items such as the $532-million charge, core earnings increased 4.4 per cent to $1.52 billion or 76 cents per diluted share.

That compared with $1.45 billion or 73 cents per share in the third quarter of 2020.

Manulife was expected to report 79 cents per share in core earnings and 40 cents per share in net earnings, according to financial data firm Refinitiv.

Global wealth and asset management net flows reached $9.8 billion, compared with a loss of $2.2 billion in the prior-year quarter.

“The impact of the pandemic continues to vary across the globe with North American markets beginning to experience a recovery, while many markets in Asia implemented further restrictions in the third quarter,'' stated chief financial officer Phil Witherington.

Nearly $400 million in new business in Asia represented three-quarters of Manulife new business in the quarter that grew 22 per cent to $539 million.

The gain in core earnings from market gains, new business, business growth in Canada and policyholder experience was partially offset by a $152-million charge for estimated losses related to hurricane Ida and the European floods.