Canada's Manulife reports decline in fourth-quarter earnings

TORONTO, Feb 7 (Reuters) - Canada's biggest insurer Manulife Financial Corp on Wednesday reported a decline in fourth-quarter earnings, reflecting lower insurance sales and slower growth at its wealth and asset management business.

Manulife said earnings per share, excluding one-off items, were C$0.59 in the final quarter of 2017, compared with C$0.63 in the same period the previous year. Analysts had on average expected earnings of C$0.58 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S data. (Reporting by Matt Scuffham; Editing by Tom Brown)