Manulife Financial Corp. says its net profit soared to $1.06 billion in the fourth quarter, along with strong sales growth in insurance and wealth-management products.

Excluding certain items, Manulife generated $537 million of core earnings or 28 cents per share during the quarter.

The earnings were an improvement from a year earlier, when Manulife had $373 million of core earnings and a $69-million net loss in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Manulife has offices in Waterloo and Kitchener.