Net earnings attributable to common shareholders were $912-million in the fourth quarter of 2020, compared to $513-million reported for the same quarter in 2019. Base earnings for the fourth quarter were $741-million, down from $831-million a year ago. The company says net earnings rose, thanks to the re-evaluation of a deferred tax asset in the company’s U.S. segment, and a net gain related to the sale of GLC Asset Management Group Ltd. to Mackenzie Financial Corporation.
For the full year ended Dec. 31, 2020, base earnings were relatively flat at $2.7-billion, while net earnings reached $2.9-billion for the year, up from $2.3-billion reported for the full year ended Dec. 31, 2019.
Assets under administration, meanwhile, reached $2-trillion by the end of Dec. 2020, up from $1.6-trillion in December 2019, primarily thanks to the company’s acquisition of the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company.
In the company’s Canadian operations, Great-West is reporting base earnings of $348-million in the fourth quarter of 2020, up from $274-million reported in the fourth quarter of 2019. The 27 per cent increase was primarily due to favourable morbidity experience in the company’s group business and the impact of new individual consumer business.
Net earnings for the fourth quarter were also up significantly, to $300-million, up from $188-million in the fourth quarter of 2019. For the 12 months ending on Dec. 31, Canadian operations’ base earnings and net earnings were both relatively flat for the year, coming in at $1.2-billion and $1-billion, respectively.
Canada Life, Great-West’s Canadian operating subsidiary, had a Life Insurance Adequacy Test (LICAT) ratio of 129 per cent on Dec. 31, 2020, down from 135 per cent on Dec. 31, 2019.
Alongside its earnings, the company also announced that its board of directors has approved a quarterly dividend of $0.438 per common share, and preferred share dividends ranging between $0.11 and $0.37, payable on March 31, 2021 to shareholders of record at the close of business on March 3, 2021.