Empire Life has announced it achieved record earnings in 2016 of $152.7 million, up from $108.6 million for the year prior. For the fourth quarter of 2016, the company posted net income of $52.5 million, up from $16.2 million for Q42015.
Earnings per share stood at $155.03 in 2016 compared to $110.22 in 2015. In Q42016, earnings per share were $53.34, up from $16.43 in Q42015.
Return on common shareholders’ equity (ROE) was 13.1 per cent in 2016 an increase from the 10.2 per cent ROE posted in 2015. ROE for the Q42016 was 17.1 per cent from 5.9 per cent for the same quarter a year earlier.
In an announcement issued Feb. 24, Empire Life attributed its better results in 2016 relative to 2015 to higher profits from its individual insurance product line. These higher profits were primarily due to “improved stock market conditions in 2016, a favourable update of policy liability assumptions for the individual insurance product line in 2016 (compared to an unfavourable update in 2015) and management actions to improve asset/liability matching in 2016.”
Stopped selling universal life
In its announcement, Empire Life also underlined its decision in Q42016 to stop selling universal life (UL) insurance products, although it will continue to administer its in-force block of UL products.
Commenting on Empire Life’s results Mark Sylvia, President and CEO, said the company “is encouraged by the increase in long-term interest rates, which helps our individual insurance business, but we remain cautious due to weakness in many world economies and political uncertainty in the United States.”