August 5, 2021
(Reuters) -MetLife Inc expects a “record sales year” in 2021, and saw the impact of COVID-19 diminishing in the second quarter, the U.S. insurer’s chief executive officer said on Thursday.
“COVID-19’s economic grip is easing somewhat,” CEO Michel Khalaf said on a conference call.
“Our results show that COVID-19 is both still with us but lessening in its impact,” he said.
The trend is helping revenue, he added, noting a 39% sales rise in U.S. group insurance unit in the first half. “If current trends hold, 2021 will be a record sales year,” he said.
MetLife on Wednesday reported adjusted second-quarter profits that blew past Wall Street estimates, as strong investment gains, especially private equity, helped offset the costs of coronavirus-related claims.
Khalaf’s comments about the pandemic’s fading earnings effect echoed remarks by Prudential Financial Inc on Wednesday.
MetLife shares were up about 2.6% at $58.63 in midmorning trading on Thursday.
(Reporting by Alwyn Scott in New York and Sohini Podder in Bangalore; editing by Jonathan Oatis)