Manulife reports disappointing net income
Manulife Financial has reported that net income was $246 million for the fourth quarter of 2015 and $2,191 million for the full year of 2015. That compares to $640 million and $3,501 million for the corresponding periods in 2014 with the annual figure down 37 per cent.
“This was a disappointing year in terms of net income, largely due to sharp mark-to-market declines in oil and gas prices, diminishing an otherwise great year. Our core earnings, before giving effect to investment-related impacts, rose 28%, which was ahead of plan,” said Donald Guloien, President and Chief Executive Officer.
In Canada, the firm achieved record gross flows and an 8 per cent increase in retail insurance sales; and completed the acquisition of the Canadian-based operations of Standard Life plc.
In the US, Manulife delivered a 14 per cent increase in mutual fund gross flows and strong sales from the acquired pension business.
For the year ahead Guloien says that economic headwinds mean that it is unlikely to achieve its $4 billion core earnings target but he is optimistic about the future: “Despite these challenges, we have never felt more confident about the underlying fundamentals and the long-term strategic positioning of our company.” The insurer has raised its dividend by 9 per cent.
AXA makes commitment to emerging middle classes
French-based global insurer AXA has announced a new push into the growing market of middle classes in emerging economies. The insurer highlights that emerging markets account for 40 per cent of world GDP but that they only account for 17 per cent of the world insurance market. AXA says that it has increased its stake in MicroEnsure, which specializes in microinsurance for emerging countries; and hopes to use its platform to offer insurance products to an estimated 3 to 4 billion people which it estimates are worth up to $50 billion.
Primerica celebrates 30 years in Canada
Georgia-headquartered insurance company Primerica is celebrating its 30th
anniversary north of the border. Primerica Canada launched in 1986 and CEO John Adams says it has reached many milestones since: “As of December 31, 2015, we have paid more than C$1 billion in Term Life Insurance claims to policy beneficiaries. We currently insure nearly 500,000 lives and have more than 350,000 client investment accounts, and our total sales force compensation has surpassed C$1 billion.”
The company says it is launching new products in 2016 aimed at the 85 per cent of Canadians who are estimated to be underinsured.
The role of more than 10,000 insurance professionals who represent the company are key to Primerica Canada’s success; the firm now has the largest life insurance sales force. Adams praised the people who work with and for the business: “Thanks to the tireless efforts of our independent sales representatives and dedicated Head Office team, we have become a true financial services leader .”