Great-West Lifeco increased its net earnings in 2022.
After passing the $3 billion mark for the first time in 2021, the insurer’s net earnings were $3.2 billion in 2022. This amounts to growth of $91 million over the previous year.
For the fourth quarter of 2022, Great-West Lifeco reported net earnings of $1.03 billion, compared with $765 million in Q4 2021.
The corresponding earnings growth is $261 million (34 per cent). According to results analyzed by The Insurance Portal dating back to first quarter 2015, this is the first time net earnings have surpassed $1 billion for a single quarter.
In a press release issued on February 8, Great-West Lifeco President and CEO Paul Mahon said he was pleased with the insurer's performance in Q4 “against a backdrop of continuing macroeconomic instability.” The company also announced a 6 per cent increase in the common shareholder dividend.
In the Canada segment, which includes Canada Life, Great-West Lifeco reported net income of $1.12 billion in 2022, down from $1.19 billion in 2021.
The more modest results in third quarter 2022 account for the 6 per cent decline in earnings for the previous 12 months. In contrast, during fourth quarter 2022, net earnings were $380 million, for growth of 24 per cent compared with Q4 2021.
In the U.S., net earnings declined over the past year from $499 million in 2021 to $460 million in 2022, an 8 per cent reduction.
In Europe, net income remained steady, edging upward from $976 million in 2021 to $984 million in 2022.
Results from the Capital and Risk Solutions and Europe segments balanced softer results in Canada, the company says.
Capital and Risk Solutions posted net earnings of $662 million, an increase of $130 million or 24 per cent over the previous year.
Lifeco Corporate pared its loss down to only $3 million in 2022 from $66 million in 2021.
Premiums and deposits
Great-West Lifeco's premiums and deposits were $174.2 billion in 2022, compared with $168.8 billion in 2021. This represents an increase of 3.2 per cent year over year.
For fourth quarter 2022, premiums and deposits totalled $44.2 billion, a 7 per cent decline from the $47.7 billion reported in Q4 2021.
In Canada, premiums and deposits were $30.7 billion, versus $29.4 billion in 2021, representing an increase of 4.7 per cent.
Volume dipped to $11.2 billion in individual insurance in Canada, a decline of 4.2 per cent. The downward trend was more pronounced in the last quarter, with a 10 per cent decrease from Q4 2021.
Group sales were more solid: Premiums and deposits were $19.5 billion, up 10.6 per cent year-over-year. In fourth quarter 2022, group premiums and deposits in Canada advanced 13.4 per cent compared with Q4 2021.
In the U.S., premiums and deposits were $82.1 billion in 2022, versus $79.9 billion in 2021. Volume dropped slightly in Europe, where premiums and deposits were $29.6 billion in 2022, down from $30 billion in 2021.
After peaking at $247.6 billion in 2021, sales declined to $207.2 billion in 2022.
The decrease is largely attributable to the U.S. market, where sales were $165.2 billion in 2022, compared with $204.6 billion in 2021. The difference is mainly due to the downturn in sales of $37 billion in Q1 2022.
In the fourth quarter, sales were $50.7 billion, a decrease of 1.4 per cent or $733 million compared with the same quarter in 2021.
Sales in Canada fell by nearly 11 per cent to $14.6 billion in 2022, after peaking at $16.4 billion in 2021. Individual insurance volume was $10.3 billion, compared with $11.9 billion in 2021. Group insurance sales were $4.3 billion, versus $4.5 billion in 2021.
Also in Canada for fourth quarter 2022, individual insurance decreased 18.7 per cent and group insurance 14.7 per cent compared with Q4 2021.
Sales in Europe were $27.2 billion in 2022, for a slight increase of 2.5 per cent.