Continued growth in core markets boosts Standard Life's 2012 net income in Canada

Note:  All figures are based on IFRS and are shown in Canadian dollars. All comparisons are with the corresponding period of 2011, unless otherwise stated.

  • Net income grew by 77% to $431 million
  • Premiums and deposits increased by 10% to $5.9 billion
  • Assets under administration rose by 9% to $45 billion
  • A solvency ratio of 277%

MONTREAL, March 7, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - Standard Life Financial Inc. ("Standard Life") reports good earnings performance in 2012 with net income of $431 million (2011: $244 million), a year-on-year increase of 77%. The improvement was driven by higher fee income and investment yields, as well as previously announced management actions. Premiums and deposits gained 10% to $5.86 billion (2011: $5.33 billion) in 2012 and 9% to $1.49 billion (2011: $1.37 billion) in the fourth quarter.

Charles Guay, President of Standard Life, said: "I'm particularly pleased with our overall performance this year. Despite a challenging environment, we've been able to grow our earnings, grow our premiums and deposits, and substantially lower the level of risk in our business. Our market share increased in key product lines, especially workplace retirement plans and segregated funds, as we focused on better understanding our customers' priorities and offering value-added solutions. I'm confident we're well positioned to take advantage of the opportunities we see for the future. To do so, we'll further leverage the expertise of our management team and the strength of our sales force to sustain sales momentum and deliver consistent growth in 2013, which marks our 180th anniversary in Canada."

Group savings and retirement premiums and deposits increased 11% to $3.3 billion (2011: $2.9 billion). In the core segment of defined contribution plans, premiums and deposits rose by 8% to $2.4 billion (2011: $2.2 billion). This result was achieved through the delivery of customer solutions to support plan sponsors and help plan members address their retirement needs.

In 2012, premiums and deposits for retail savings and retirement solutions rose by 11% to $1.9 billion (2011: $1.7 billion). Growth was again driven by strong demand for Standard Life's Ideal Segregated Funds. Although it suspended sales of the Ideal Income Series guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefit product in April 2012, Standard Life continued to enhance its segregated fund offerings. For the year, it was the fastest growing company in the sector. Mutual funds advanced by 27% to $438 million (2011: $345 million) due to the success of fixed income and yield-oriented products.

Group insurance and disability management premiums grew by 3% to $719 million (2011: $700 million). In the core sector of disability management, premiums increased by 9% to $210 million (2011: $193 million). Large mandates contributed much of the growth in the sector.

Capital position
Standard Life Financial's primary operating subsidiary, The Standard Life Assurance Company of Canada, reported a solvency ratio of 277% as at December 31, 2012, compared to 204% a year earlier. The increase reflects both strong earnings and the issuance of $400 million in subordinated debt in September 2012. The improved earnings in the company's core segments are also attributable to actions taken by management, including the timely sale of four commercial properties and the renegotiation of a key reinsurance arrangement. The company will continue to actively manage its capital position and expects its solvency ratio to evolve in line with historical levels.

Outlook
In 2012, Standard Life strengthened its operations and capital position and laid the foundation for steady growth in the future. The company is ready to take advantage of future market opportunities driven by evolving demographics, customer preferences and regulatory change. It will maintain a customer-centric focus by providing innovative retirement and investment solutions in its three core business segments:

  • Group defined contribution retirement plans
  • Disability prevention and management services for employers
  • Retail investment funds

Forward-looking statements
This press release may contain forward-looking statements about certain of Standard Life's current plans, goals and expectations relating to future financial conditions, performance, results, strategy and objectives. Statements containing the words: 'believes', 'intends', 'expects', 'plans', 'seeks' and 'anticipates' and any other words of similar meaning are forward-looking. All forward-looking statements involve risk and uncertainty because they relate to future events and circumstances beyond Standard Life's control. As a result, Standard Life's actual financial condition, performance and results may differ materially from the plans, goals and expectations set out in the forward-looking statements. The company will not undertake any obligation to update any of the forward-looking statements in this press release or any other forward-looking statements that it may make.

Notes to Editors

  1. Premiums and deposits is a non-IFRS measure. Standard Life includes in its calculation deposits from segregated and mutual funds, and premium equivalents of administrative services only (ASO).
  2. Total premiums and deposits reported for 2012 and 2011 include those generated by individual life insurance products sold prior to 2012. The Standard Life Assurance of Canada stopped selling individual life insurance and critical illness products in 2012, but continues to service the in-force block of business.
  3. Standard Life's main operating company in Canada holds a financial strength rating of 'A+' from Standard & Poor's.
  4. Standard Life plc (LSE: SL.L) 2012 preliminary results published earlier today are available online.

About Standard Life
Standard Life plc is a leading long-term savings and investment company headquartered in Edinburgh, Scotland. Standard Life has around six million customers worldwide and operates in the United Kingdom, Europe, North America and Asia, and globally with Standard Life Investments Ltd.

In Canada, Standard Life has been doing business for 180 years. It operates under Standard Life Financial Inc., which wholly owns The Standard Life Assurance Company of Canada and Standard Life Mutual Funds Ltd. It is Standard Life plc's largest operation outside the UK with about 2,000 employees. It provides long-term savings, investment and insurance solutions to more than 1.4 million Canadians, including group retirement and insurance plan members.

As of December 31, 2012, Standard Life plc had $353 billion in assets under administration, including $45 billion in Canada through Standard Life Financial.

SOURCE: STANDARD LIFE

For further information:

Geoffrey King
514-499-7999, ext. 8150
geoffrey.king@standardlife.ca

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