Variable annuity sales are finally up, with many carriers reporting record-breaking income as a result, according to Finetre Corp. The increase in profits were due to the recovery of equity markets in 2003 and improvements in variable annuity pricing and management practices.

"The return to VA product profitability for many issuers after a lengthy bear market in equities is an important benchmark," notes R.H. "Rick" Carey, managing director of research at Finetre. "Consumer interest in the insurance protections of both living and death benefits is a testament to the resiliency and creativity of today’s leading VA issuers."

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