TORONTO - Sun Life Financial Inc. says it earned $1.02 billion in the third quarter, up from $750 million in the same quarter last year as it saw growth in asset management and its Asian division.

The Toronto-based insurer reported after markets closed Wednesday that its profit in the quarter amounted to $1.74 per share, up from $1.28 per share a year earlier.

Underlying net income came in at $902 million or $1.54 per share, up from $842 million or $1.44 per share in the same quarter last year.

Analysts on average expected Sun Life to earn $1.25 per share in adjusted profits according to financial data firm Refinitiv.

Insurance sales were down nine per cent to $628 million and wealth sales were down almost four per cent to $50.7 billion, while the value of new business rose 11 per cent to $290 million.

Net income from Canada in the quarter was up two per cent to $393 million, while asset management income rose 20 per cent to $301 million and its Asian operations saw a 22 per cent climb to $288 million.