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Underlying profit was $843-million, or $1.44 a share, in the three months ended March 31.Fred Lum/the Globe and Mail

Sun Life Financial on Wednesday beat analyst estimates for first-quarter core profit, which fell from a year earlier because of higher claims in its U.S. business and the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on some Asian markets.

Underlying profit was $843-million, or $1.44 a share, in the three months ended March 31, from $850-million, or $1.45, a year earlier. Analysts had expected $1.41 a share.

Reported net income declined to $858-million, or $1.46, from $937-million, or $1.59, a year earlier.

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