Manulife Financial Corp. reported a record annual profit of $4.3 billion Thursday, up $317 million or eight per cent from 2006.

Fourth-quarter earnings also hit a record $1.14 billion, an increase of $440 million or four per cent from the same period a year earlier.

Earnings per share for the quarter were 75 cents, up from 70 cents a share a year earlier.

"I am very pleased that virtually all of our businesses achieved record sales levels for the quarter and for the full year," CEO Dominic D'Alessandro said in a release.

"This positive sales momentum together with our exceptional asset quality and strong capital position will allow us to deal with the unsettled markets that are likely to continue to prevail for some months yet," he said.

Manulife said the strengthening of the Canadian dollar took a $163 million bite out of net earnings in 2007.

Funds under management were $396.3 billion at the end of the year, down from $414.4 billion in 2006. The company said the $53.2 billion negative impact of the high Canadian dollar more than offset strong policyholder cash flows and a favourable equity market performance.

Shares of Manulife Financial were down 39 cents to $36.95 in morning trading on the TSX.