Securian Financial Group earnings in 2015 declined slightly to $273 million on revenue that grew 9 percent to $4.2 billion.

The St. Paul-based insurer said the decline from its record 2014 profit of $279 million was due to higher death benefits its paid out in 2015.

“Securian had another very strong year,” Securian CEO Chris Hilger said in a prepared statement. “Through solid performances by our diverse businesses and outstanding client retention, we delivered smart growth and built capabilities for the future while maintaining our financial strength.

“In 2015, we paid more than $4.6 billion in benefits — providing financial security to the almost 16 million customers who count on us.”

St. Paul’s largest financial services firm, and which is owned by policyholders, said insurance sales were $1.1 billion, matching 2014. Annuities sold to individuals and employer retirement plans increased 10 percent to $1.6 billion. Assets under management increased 2 percent to $64.4 billion.

Employment grew nearly 5 percent during 2015 to 4,360 people nationwide.

The company said it made 2015 employee profit-sharing contributions for the 42nd consecutive year.