Source: The Canadian Press

Genworth MI Canada Inc. (TSX:MIC) says fourth-quarter profits slipped to $84 million, caused by a marginal increase in new delinquencies.

The Toronto-based mortgage insurer said Wednesday that net income was equivalent to 80 cents per share for the three months ended Dec. 31. That compared with $87 million, or 74 cents per share, a year earlier.

The company said the results were impacted by more delinquencies caused by “typical seasonal pressure on the housing market.”

Genworth noted that it still expects to stay within or below its target loss ratio of 35 to 40%.

Meanwhile, net premiums were up 53% to $134 million from $110 million.

The company’s reported net operating income fell to $84 million from $85 million last year.

New written insurance policies rose 23% over the same time last year due to improved housing market conditions and better penetration, it said.

“We are pleased with our solid performance in 2010,” said chief executive Brian Hurley.

“Against the backdrop of an improving economy, we achieved a 53% increase in net premiums written and a 20% decline in losses on claims, reflecting the success of our focused customer and risk management strategies.”

Genworth MI Canada Inc., through Genworth Financial Mortgage Insurance Company Canada, has been the leading private-sector company providing residential mortgage insurance.