Excellent financial results yet again for SSQ Financial Group in 2006

    QUEBEC CITY, April 19 /CNW Telbec/ - Repeating the excellent performances
of recent years, in 2006 SSQ Financial Group once again achieved remarkable
growth. Assets under management rose by 14.7%, reaching $3.4 billion, compared
to $2.9 billion for the previous year. Premiums underwritten by SSQ
enterprises rose by 11.8%, representing an increase from $1.2 billion to
$1.4 billion. SSQ recorded a net profit of $25.9 million in 2006, up 10.2%
over the previous year, providing a return on shareholders' equity of 14.1%.

    Group Insurance:

    Growth and development were the mainstays of SSQ's Group Insurance
business line throughout the year 2006. New sales of $95 million and growth in
annual premium income of 9.3%, for a total of $960.1 million, reconfirm SSQ's
position as a major player in the group insurance industry. Over the past
year, this business line continued to pursue its pan-Canadian expansion. The
combined efforts Toronto, Montreal and Quebec City sales offices have met with
success: SSQ has secured a place in a highly competitive market, with
never-before-attained results in terms of new sales.

    Investment and Retirement:

    2006 was a successful year all around for SSQ Investment and Retirement.
Whether in terms of assets under management, number of group plan contracts,
funds offered or market penetration, SSQ posted impressive growth across the
board. Once again this year, there was a marked increase in total assets,
representing impressive growth of 19.7% from 2005 to 2006. Combined sales for
group and individual market sectors attained an enviable rate of growth of
42.2% in 2006. In addition, SSQ is now authorized to offer individual savings
plans in the province of Ontario and to organizations under federal
jurisdiction. This means that SSQ Investment and Retirement now has a new
client base to offer financial services to and a means of increasing
visibility in the Canadian market.

    General Insurance:

    SSQ General Insurance has continued to move forward in a highly
competitive sector, increasing the number of insurance contracts underwritten
by 9% in 2006. Rigorous management of expenses combined with good insurance
and investment results produced excellent financial results. The volume of
written premiums in 2006 was $92.6 million for a net profit of $4.1 million.

    SSQ Real Estate:

    SSQ Real Estate continued to manage the Group's building properties with
seasoned expertise, while also keeping very busy developing and promoting new
construction projects over the past year. One of the projects most talked
about was the construction of a spacious, comfortable and totally modern bus
shelter, built and financed by SSQ. SSQ is involved in the planning and
development of a major residential project that should become more concrete in
2007. Receiving increasing recognition for its expertise in real estate
management, SSQ was recently hired by to develop a large-scale tourism project
as well as the construction of a new office building in downtown Montreal.

    About SSQ Financial Group

    With more than $1 billion in annual revenue, SSQ Financial Group is a
leading mutual diversified financial institution. The Group serves over
1 million customers and employs over 1,300 people. SSQ, Life Insurance Company
Inc. is the Group's principal company and a leader in the group insurance
industry, offering a wide range of quality insurance as well as investment and
retirement products. SSQ Financial Group is also a rising star in home and
auto insurance (SSQ General Insurance Company Inc.) and realty management (SSQ
Realty Inc.).

For further information:

For further information: Elaine Dumais, Director of Corporate
Communications, SSQ Financial Group, (418) 650-3457, ext. 6292

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SSQ Financial Group

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