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Manulife posts lower first-quarter profit, increases dividend

[TORONTO] Manulife Financial Corp, Canada's largest insurer, reported a lower first-quarter profit on Thursday, hurt by weakness in US wealth management sales and the impact of energy holdings on its investment business.

However, the Toronto-based company recorded a rise in assets under management to C$821 billion (S$905 billion) and increased its quarterly dividend.

The company's net profit fell to C$723 million, or 36 Canadian cents a share, in the quarter ended March 31, compared with C$818 million, or 42 Canadian cents a share, in the same period last year.

Core profit rose to 39 Canadian cents a share, from 37 Canadian cents a share a year earlier.