Bloomberg News

BOSTON — John Hancock Financial Services Inc., in its second year as a public company, said second-quarter profit rose 9%, to $199.4 million, as it sold more traditional life insurance policies.

The per-share figure, 64 cents, up from 58 cents a year earlier, beat the analyst consensus of 63 cents as reported by Thomson Financial/First Call. Hancock and other insurers are relying more on life insurance sales because the slump in equities has dampened demand for variable annuities.

Hancock is “a selling machine, and sales of traditional life insurance are taking the pressure off the variable annuity segment,” said Michael Paisan, an analyst at Williams Capital, which has a “buy” on the Boston company.

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