Manulife Financial Corporation today reported net income attributed to shareholders of $2.9 billion 2016, compared to $2.19 billion the year previous.
The company also reported fully diluted earnings per common share of $1.41 (compared to $1.05 in 2015) and return on common shareholders' equity of 7.3% (up from 5.8% in 2015).
Manulife says the rise in net income “reflected growth in core earnings, and a turnaround in investment-related experience partially offset by an increase in charges related to the direct impact of markets.”
In 2016, Manulife generated core earnings of $4.0 billion, diluted core earnings per common share of $1.96 and core return on common shareholders' equity of 10.1%, compared with $3.428 billion, $1.68, and 9.2%, respectively, for 2015.
In the fourth quarter of 2016, net income attributed to shareholders was $63 million, fully diluted earnings per common share was $0.01 and return on common shareholders' equity was 0.3%, down from $246 million, $0.11 and 2.3%, respectively for the same quarter in 2015.
Charges of $1.2 billion
Fourth quarter net income includes charges of $1.2 billion “due to the direct impact of markets,” says the company. In the fourth quarter, Manulife generated core earnings of $1.287 billion, diluted core earnings per common share of $0.63 and core return on common shareholders' equity of 12.9%, compared with $859 million, $0.42, and 8.7%, respectively in 2015.
Donald Guloien, President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, "Manulife achieved particularly strong operating results, ending the year with $4 billion in core earnings, an increase of 17% from the prior year; and achieving the target we set back in 2012. While the overall impact of higher rates is highly positive over the long term for our Company, net income was negatively impacted by market movements in the fourth quarter.”
Guloien announced that due to the strong operating results and an outlook for growth, Manulife’s Board has approved an 11% increase to the company’s dividend. This marks the third consecutive year of dividend increases.