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Great-West Lifeco Inc. credits both organic growth and acquisition for higher profits in the third quarter. 

The Winnipeg-based insurer says it had $872 million of net earnings in the quarter ended Sept. 30, up from $826 million in the same period last year.

Net earnings per share increased to 94 cents from 89 cents the year before.

Its base earnings, a form of adjusted profit that excludes certain items, were $870 million or 93 cents per share, an increase of 27% from 73 cents a year ago. The insurer said this was primarily due to MassMutual business–related base earnings of $68 million and the impact of higher equity markets across all jurisdictions.

Net earnings for Q3 included a net gain of $94 million related to the sale of Irish Progressive Services International Ltd.

Earnings growth was partially offset by claims related to major weather events as well as U.S. life claims due to the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, and acquisition-related costs, the report to shareholders said.

Assets under administration (AUA) were approximately $2.2 trillion at Sept. 30, an increase of 11% from Dec. 31, 2020. The increase was mostly attributable to equity returns and new business growth in segregated funds, proprietary mutual funds and institutional net assets and other AUA, partially offset by the impact of currency movement.

“We are pleased with the results Great-West Lifeco achieved in the third quarter, with strong underlying business performance across operating segments and the benefits of recent acquisitions driving double-digit base earnings growth and strong base [return on equity],” said Paul Mahon, president and CEO of Great-West Lifeco Inc., in a release.