Great-West Lifeco Inc. announced August 2 that its Q2 2017 net earnings were $585 million or $0.591 per common share for the second quarter of 2017. Lifeco’s second quarter results include restructuring costs of $127 million, mainly linked to the realignment of its Canadian business.

Lifeco reports that excluding these restructuring costs, adjusted net earnings for Q2 2017 were $712 million or $0.719 per common share, which is a six per cent increase compared to $671 million or $0.675 per common share for Q2 2016. Adjusted return on equity, excluding the impact of restructuring costs, was 13.9 per cent.

Restructuring initiatives

"We were very pleased with the second quarter results, which reflected strong operating performances across businesses and geographies," said Paul Mahon, president and chief executive officer of Great-West Lifeco. "Restructuring initiatives undertaken earlier in the year are delivering expected cost savings. We are managing expenses carefully while continuing to invest in core markets and new capabilities to improve customer experiences and drive future growth."

For the first half of 2017, excluding the impact of restructuring costs, the company’s adjusted net earnings were $1,331 million, or $1.345 per common share compared to $1,291 million or $1.300 per common share for the same period last year.

Canadian operations

With respect to its Canadian operations, Lifeco reported that the realignment into two new business units, one focused on individual customers and the other on group customers, has resulted in progress on targeted annual expense reductions. “As of June 30, 2017, the Company has achieved approximately $46 million pre-tax in annualized reductions, which resulted in expense reductions of $18 million pre-tax for the first half of 2017.”

Sales up 21 per cent

Sales in Canada for Q2 2017 were $3.2 billion, reported Lifeco. This is an increase of 21 per cent over Q2 2016. “The increase reflects strong sales in individual and group investment funds and single premium group annuities as well as higher group insurance sales,” says the company.