2009 Second Quarter Financial Results - Desjardins Financial Security reports net income of $83.3M and asserts its financial strength

          Individual savings sales up 178.7%
          Group retirement savings sales up 161.1%
          Insurance premium volume up 3.3%
          Net income of $83.3M
          Return on shareholder equity of 22.9%

    LEVIS, QC, Sept. 2 /CNW Telbec/ - Despite the sustained impact of the
worldwide financial crisis, Desjardins Financial Security maintained its
profitability at the end of the first six months of 2009 with a net income of
$83.3 million. The Desjardins Group subsidiary, specializing in life and
health insurance and retirement savings, also reported continued growth in
insurance premium income, which stood at $1,344.9 million for a 3.3%
improvement over the first half of 2008. Quebec posted an increase of $14.1
million (1.6%) and the other provinces a significantly higher increase of
$28.4 million for a 6.7% improvement. Insurance sales were $116.3 million and
similar to those in the first half of 2008. Retirement savings sales were also
up, standing at $799.5 million compared to $527.4 million in the same period a
year earlier.
    The share of the company's net income attributable to the shareholder,
the Desjardins caisses, stood at $82.1 million. Return on shareholder equity
was 22.9%, one of the best in the financial services industry. Assets under
management and administration totalled $20.4 billion.
    Despite the financial and economic crises, and turmoil on the global
financial markets, the company has maintained its financial strength and
continues to benefit from excellent capitalization. Fundamental insurance
operations also remain very profitable.

    Second Quarter Financial Results

    For the period of April 1 to June 30, 2009, net income totalled $52.8
million compared to $59.3 million in 2008. Insurance sales amounted to $51.2
million versus $57.5 million for the same period last year. Gross insurance
premiums were $675.7 million, up $21.6 million over the second quarter of
2008, with Quebec recording a 1.5% increase and a 7.0% increase in the other
provinces. Savings sales totalled $444.9 million, up $90.3 million over the
first quarter of 2009. This increase is primarily due to major group
retirement savings contracts signed in the second quarter.
    Commenting on these results, Ms. Monique F. Leroux, President and Chief
Executive Officer of Desjardins Group and also Chief Executive Officer of
Desjardins Financial Security said, "Our life and health insurance subsidiary
is recording good business growth and substantial profitability in economic
conditions that remain challenging and call for prudence and vigilance. The
company's contribution to the overall performance of Desjardins Group remains
    Mr. Richard Fortier, Chief Operating Officer of Desjardins Financial
Security, expressed his pride in the Company's efforts since the beginning of
the year and the benefits they have generated. "All our efforts to maintain
premium income and insurance sales growth are paying off. We continue to take
the necessary steps to keep the Company financially healthy and remain
confident in our ability to successfully deal with the consequences of the
financial crisis."

    Sector by sector results

    In group insurance, the volume of gross premiums from groups and
businesses, and those associated with plans offered in financial institutions
including the Desjardins caisses, stood at $1,095.7 million as at June 30,
2009, up $33.0 million over the same period last year. Sales, which totalled
$94.3 million, were similar to those recorded at the same time in 2008.
    In individual insurance, total sales recorded in the first half of 2009
by the financial security advisors assigned to the Desjardins caisses and by
the network of SFL and Desjardins Financial Security Independent Network
financial centres stood at $22.0 million, up slightly from June 30, 2008
($20.5 million). Gross premiums totalled $249.2 million, for a 3.9%
improvement over the same time last year.
    In savings, overall sales stood at $799.5 million. Group retirement
savings sales totalled $175.8 million, up 161.1% over the first half of 2008,
while individual savings sales amounted to $465.6 million, more than double
the figure from the same period last year. Guaranteed investment fund sales
were $406.9 million compared to $98.3 million in the same period in 2008.
Mutual fund sales totalled $158.1 million, down from June 30, 2008.

    About Desjardins Financial Security

    Desjardins Financial Security, a subsidiary of Desjardins Group, the
largest integrated cooperative financial group in Canada, specializes in
providing life insurance, health insurance and retirement savings products to
individuals and groups. Every day, over five million Canadians rely on
Desjardins Financial Security to ensure their financial well-being. Desjardins
Financial Security employs some 3,800 people and administers over $20.4
billion in assets from offices in several cities across the country, including
Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Montréal, Québec, Lévis,
Halifax and St. John's. For more information, visit our website at

For further information:

For further information: Claude Beauchamp, Senior Director,
Communications, Desjardins Financial Security, (418) 838-7800, extension 7664,
Toll free: 1-877-828-7800, extension 7664, claude.beauchamp@dsf.ca; Virtual
pressroom: http://www.desjardinsfinancialsecurity.com/press

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