WATERLOO, ON, Feb. 13, 2013 /CNW/ - Amid a challenging economic
environment, Equitable Life of Canada® delivered solid results in 2012, achieving all-time highs for earnings
and growth. Despite low interest rates and volatile equity markets, the
Company realized record earnings of $44.7 million, far surpassing the
previous high of $32.0 million in 2010. As a result, return on
policyholders' equity increased considerably to 13.5% in 2012. This
historic result was due, in particular, to solid earnings by both the
Individual and Group lines of business.
A number of factors contributed to this strong performance in 2012.
Diligent expense management, positive Group claims ratios and
favourable performance of equity markets in the latter half of the year
helped to offset the low interest rate environment and
lower-than-expected sales in the Individual and Savings & Retirement
lines of business.
Equitable Life remains strong and stable with a Minimum Continuing
Capital and Surplus Requirements (MCCSR) ratio of 195%, up from 190% in
2011 and well above the minimum regulatory requirement set out by the
Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions Canada (OSFI).
As well, the Company's participating policyholders' equity, one of the
key measures of a mutual life insurer's financial stability, increased
to $352.1 million from $307.4 million at the end of 2011.
Equitable Life also had a strong year for growth in 2012. Premiums and
deposits reached $606.1 million and the Company's assets under
administration grew to $2.93 billion - both all-time highs. On the
sales front, it was a breakout year for the Group line of business,
achieving record sales of $53.3 million, eclipsing its 2011 sales by
83.8%. Individual sales were down 7.4% to $38.8 million in 2012, as
persistently low interest rates led to unprecedented product and
pricing changes in the industry. Similarly, Savings & Retirement sales
fell 4.6% to $219.6 million as the current economic environment led to
weak segregated funds sales.
Equitable Life is known for its top-quality service, and the Company
built on that reputation in 2012. The Group line of business achieved
top rankings in a majority of service categories for a survey of
Canadian group policyholders conducted by LIMRA, a worldwide
association of insurance and financial services companies. As well, the
Individual line of business was again ranked as one of the top
companies for new business processing in a survey conducted by one of
Canada's largest Managing General Agencies.
At the same time, Equitable Life's investment portfolio performed
extremely well in 2012 and delivered consistent returns in a volatile
environment. Our conservative approach continues to provide ongoing
stability and growth.
"By almost all measures, 2012 was a standout year for the Company," said
Ronald Beettam, Equitable Life's President and Chief Executive Officer.
"Equitable Life's ability to succeed in difficult market conditions is
evidence of our prudent management practices and our focus on meeting
the long-term interests of our policyholders. We will continue to
pursue those priorities that have brought success in the past,
including distribution development, service delivery, process
improvement and a commitment to our customers and employees."
2012 Financial Highlights
Net income increased to $44.7 million, for a return on policyholders'
equity of 13.5%.
Participating policyholders' equity increased 14.5% to $352.1 million.
Capital strength, as measured by the MCCSR ratio, ended the year at
Premiums and deposits increased by 4.4% to $606.1 million.
Assets under administration grew 6.7% to $2.93 billion.
About Equitable Life of Canada
As one of Canada's largest mutual life insurance companies, Equitable
Life is dedicated solely to its policyholders. The Company is focused
on providing them with high-quality service, security and well-being.
Since 1920, Canadians have been depending on Equitable Life for
financial protection. The Company offers a wide selection of
competitive Individual Life and Health, Group Life and Health, and
Individual Savings and Retirement products to meet the needs of its
large and growing base of participating policyholders.
SOURCE: Equitable Life of Canada
For further information:
Media relations contact
Director, Corporate Communications
1.800.722.6615 ext. 8017