Empire Life reported Q4 2018 common shareholders’ net income of $6 million, compared to $48 million for the same quarter in 2017. For the full year, net income was $137 million compared to $171 million in 2017.
For Q4 2018, Return on common shareholders’ equity was 1.7%, compared to 13.8% for the same quarter last year. For the full year, ROE was 9.4% compared to 13.8% for 2017.
For the full year 2018, assets under management decreased 7% to $16.4 billion. Empire Life’s LICAT ratio was 149% at Dec. 31, 2018.
In a statement on Feb. 27, the insurer said the Q4 2018 earnings decrease “was primarily a result of unfavourable assumption updates, experience losses relative to gains last year, and lower gains from management actions in the Individual Insurance product line and the operating performance in the Wealth Management product line.”
Equity market decline
"Late in 2018, we experienced an unusual equity market decline and falling interest rates. Despite these challenges, we experienced positive growth in 2018. Although it was not at the same level as 2017 – a year of record profits – our results were solid and reinforced our strategy of diversification across three lines of business,” said Mark Sylvia, President and Chief Executive Officer. “We stay true to our promise to be there when our customers need us most and to make it simple, fast and easy for them to get the insurance, investments and benefits coverage they need.”