Industrial Alliance Insurance and Financial Services Inc. has reported net income for 2016 of $553.7 million, up from $386.4 million in 2015.

Net income for the fourth quarter of 2016 amounted to $155.0 million and diluted earnings per common share stood at $1.48. This compares with Q42015 net income of $4.2 million and EPS of $0.04, which included a reserve strengthening of $1.05 per share, stated the company in an announcement on Feb. 16.

"2016 was clearly an excellent year for Industrial Alliance and for our shareholders," said Yvon Charest, President and Chief Executive Officer. "I want to highlight the outstanding results of our retail insurance operations both in Canada and the US, the industry-leading growth of our segregated fund business, and the successful turnaround in gross and net sales by our mutual fund business. Aside from organic growth, we are also excited by the expansion of our wealth management platform through the acquisition of HollisWealth in early December. The combination of the two groups propels us to the top of non-bank mutual fund distribution in Canada in terms of geographic footprint and assets under administration."



In Q42016, the company reported strong sales in the retail insurance sector. Total sales were $93.4 million, an increase of 27 per cent. For Canada, this sales increase was 37% in Canada and 2% in the United States.

Industrial Alliance says its Canadian adjustable disability business showed strong momentum with growth of 18% in the quarter. Total sales in Canada amounted to $71.4 million (including $5.0 million for adjustable disability) and the United States accounted for $22.0 million.

Dividend increase

In retail wealth management, gross sales of mutual funds rose by 81% to $535.4 million in the fourth quarter, with net inflows of $77.2 million in 2016 compared to net outflows of $247.5 million in 2015.

Industrial Alliance has also announced a dividend increase of $0.03 in its quarterly dividend per common share, raising it to $0.35. This dividend will be payable on March 15, 2017.