Pacific Century Insurance, a Hong Kong-listed life insurer, said third-quarter net profit jumped 78 per cent, thanks to an increase in sales of new life policies and investment income. The insurer, 47.17 per cent owned by Pacific Century Regional Developments, said profit for the three months to September rose to HK$34 million from HK$19.1 million a year earlier. Diluted earnings per share rose to 4.14 HK cents from 2.29 HK cents. 'We have achieved strong growth in new business in terms of both insurance and investment contracts,' chief executive Raymond Chan said. 'We will continue to expand our agency force and to provide more premium products and services to our customers.' Insurance firms in Hong Kong are benefiting from the city's strong economic growth, which prompted demand for more products. Pacific Century Insurance's individual annualised premium income from sales of new policies stood at HK$153.3 million for the three months to September, up 46.1 per cent from a year earlier. Total premium income from new policies and existing policies rose 9.8 per cent to HK$496.4 million. Pacific Century Insurance was hit by an accounting error on its investment portfolio last year, which inflated its nine-month profit 13 times. Its chief financial officer and executive director Sam Cheung later resigned. For the first nine months, Pacific Century Insurance's net profit surged to HK$222.1 million from HK$8.01 million a year earlier.