John Hancock Financial led the industry in individual life insurance sales last year, according to Limra International's survey of 78 life insurers.

The Manulife Financial Corp. unit had sales of $835 million in premium and increased its industry-leading market share to more than 7%.

The Boston company also finished first in variable life sales, with roughly $237 million, according to Limra. It was second in universal life sales, with nearly $496 million, maintaining its nearly 10% market share.

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