BOSTON - Keyport Life Insurance Co.'s second-quarter fixed annuity sales rose 241% from the year earlier, to $334 million.

Last year's annual sales had grown 49% from the year before, to $840 million.

Paul LeFevre, Keyport's chief operating officer, said one key to the insurer's gains was an annuity marketing alliance in March with FleetBoston Financial Corp.

In the first quarter Keyport, a subsidiary of Liberty Financial Co. of Boston, launched two fixed annuities and an equity index annuity as part of the joint venture with Fleet. The annuities are being sold through Fleet's 1,200 bank branches and its 250 registered investment specialists.

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