All comparisons of the results for the fourth quarter 2012 in the business discussions that follow are with the fourth quarter of 2011, unless otherwise noted. All comparisons on a constant currency basis are calculated using the average foreign currency exchange rates for the current period and are applied to the prior period. Reconciliations of segment net income to segment operating earnings are provided in the tables that accompany this release and in the Fourth Quarter 2012 Financial Supplement, which is available on the Investor Relations section of www.metlife.com.
Total operating earnings for the Americas increased 21% to $1.3 billion, driven by Retail, Corporate Benefit Funding and Latin America. Results in the Americas were impacted by $70 million, or $0.06 per share, after tax, in catastrophe losses driven by Superstorm Sandy that were above the company’s quarterly plan provision. This was partially offset by favorable claim development related to prior accident years of $13 million, or $0.01 per share, after tax.Premiums, fees & other revenues for the Americas were $9.9 billion, up 18% due to growth across the segments and the benefit of a conversion of a participating pension contract to a nonparticipating closeout during the quarter. Excluding pension closeouts, premiums, fees & other revenues for the Americas were up 5%. Retail Operating earnings for Retail were $633 million, up 43% as higher net investment income, an increase in fees, the positive impact from the annual review of DAC assumptions and lower expenses were slightly offset by higher catastrophe losses. Premiums, fees & other revenues for Retail were $3.2 billion, up 4% primarily due to an increase in separate account fees. Fourth quarter 2012 variable annuity sales were $3.6 billion, down 51%. For the full year 2012, variable annuity sales were $17.7 billion – in line with the company’s plan of $17.5 to $18.5 billion.