Great-West Lifeco reported net earnings of $872 million for the third quarter of 2021. The financial results were released on Nov. 3.
Net earnings attributable to common shareholders amount to $0.94 per share, versus Q3 2020 earnings of $0.89 per share ($826 million).
Great-West Lifeco’s President and CEO, Paul Mahon, attributes the improved results to organic growth and acquisitions in the U.S., Canada, and Ireland.
Base earnings were $870 million, or $0.93 per share, versus $679 million in the third quarter last year, or $0.73 per share. The 27 per cent increase was driven by improved results at MassMutual and the impact of improved equity markets in all jurisdictions.
In all three of the insurer’s major markets, core earnings advanced in the past quarter compared with Q3 2020. The Canada segment posted $312 million in earnings, up 16 per cent from the $270 million reported in 2020.
The U.S. operations reported a profit of $221 million (versus $83 million in 2020). European operations also improved, with earnings of $232 million (versus $182 million in 2020), up 27 per cent.
The sole exception to the strong performance was seen in the Capital and Risk Solutions segment, where earnings sank by $107 million, down 31 per cent from $156 million a year earlier.
Great-West Lifeco’s corporate operations incurred a loss of $2 million in Q3, compared with a loss of $12 million in the same quarter of 2020.
Premiums and deposits
Premiums and deposits totalled nearly $39.3 billion in Q3, down from $40.9 B in the same quarter of 2020.
U.S. premiums and deposits declined to $16.3 billion from $24.1 billion in 2020.
In European, however, results improved in Q3 2021, with $7.5 billion in premiums and deposits, compared with $6.1 billion in 2020.
For the Canada segment, results were better in 2021, with premiums and deposits totaling $6.9 billion in the last quarter, versus $6.2 billion in 2020.
In individual insurance, premiums and deposits gained $238 million compared with the same quarter in 2020. They reached $2.7 billion in Canada in Q3 2021, similar to the previous quarter. In group insurance, premiums rose 15 per cent year-over-year to $4.2 billion in Q3 2021.
Total sales at Great-West Lifeco were $39.6 billion in Q3 2021, up from $35.8 billion in the same quarter in 2020. This represents a 10.6 per cent year-over-year increase. However, sales had been significantly higher in Q2 2021.
Sales also increased at U.S. Financial Services, rising to $29.2 billion last quarter, compared with $28 billion in 2020.
In Europe, sales approached $7 billion, compared with $5.3 billion in 2020, for a 32 per cent increase year-over-year.
Looking at the results for Canada, sales increased 38 per cent in Q3 2021, compared with 2020, to $3.5 billion. More specifically, individual insurance sales increased by 29 per cent compared with 2020 to reach $2.5 billion. In group insurance, sales soared by 54 per cent to $971 million.
The Board of Directors approved a quarterly dividend of $0.4380 per share on the common shares of Lifeco, payable December 31, 2021 to shareholders of record at the close of business on Dec. 3, 2021.