iA Financial Corporation has reported net income attributed to common shareholders of $151.1 million for the first quarter of 2019, which is a nine per cent increase compared to $139.2 million in Q1 2018.
Return on shareholders' equity (ROE) for the last twelve months was 12.4% at the end of the quarter, compared to 11.8% at the end of Q1 2018.
The company’s solvency ratio was 124% at March 31, 2019. This compares to 120% a year earlier and 126% at December 31, 2018.
Group businesses post solid growth
"We're pleased with our results for the quarter, which bode well for the year and are in line with our long-term growth objectives," said Denis Ricard, President and CEO of iA Financial Group in a May 9 statement. "Our first quarter results showed sound profitability along with strong sales in several business lines. Our group businesses posted solid growth and we've maintained our number one ranking in net segregated fund sales. In addition, the excellent performance of our U.S. divisions confirms that this is an important vector for growth, and we will continue to look for opportunities to increase our presence in that market. Lastly, we've once again shown our ability to create value by generating 10% growth in book value per share over the last twelve months."
"Our first quarter earnings are consistent with guidance," added Jacques Potvin, Executive Vice-President, CFO and Chief Actuary. "In addition to 10% growth in expected profit, we posted experience gains in all five business lines and better than expected results in our auto and home insurance subsidiary. Our capital continues to be well positioned, which allows us to increase our dividend to common shareholders by 8% while staying the course with our growth strategy."
The company’s retail insurance sector in Canada reported total sales of $41.2 million compared with $46.7 million in the same quarter of 2018. “The decrease is partly explained by a decline in excess premiums,” explained iA. The number of life insurance policies issued in the first quarter was up 3% year over year.