Desjardins Group posts “very good performance” for 2018 fiscal report

Cooperative credits strong results to record membership rates, surplus earnings growth

Desjardins Group posts “very good performance” for 2018 fiscal report

Insurance News

By Lyle Adriano

Desjardins Group has posted $2,326 million in surplus earnings (before member dividends) for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2018. This was a jump of $175 million compared to fiscal 2017.

According to the company’s release, its adjusted surplus earnings were up $295 million (15.5%) for fiscal 2018. The amount returned to Desjardins’ members and the community was $389 million, which includes a $253 million provision for member dividends, $94 million in sponsorships, donations and scholarships, and $42 million in Desjardins Member Advantages.

Desjardins’ P&C insurance segment posted $173 million in net surplus earnings in fiscal 2018. Adjusted net surplus earnings were down $32 million – thanks in part from a higher claims experience compared to fiscal 2017, as well as the impact of the sales of subsidiaries in 2017 (namely Western Financial Group and Western Life Assurance), which were somewhat offset by higher investment income.

The segment’s surplus earnings for Q4 2018 were $25 million, compared to Q4 2017’s $48 million. The lower earnings were due to a higher claims experience, which was somewhat offset due to a decline in the contingent consideration payable as part of acquisition of the Canadian businesses of State Farm. An increase in investment income also helped offset the claims cost for that period.

“I am very proud of Desjardins Group’s performance,” commented Desjardins president and CEO Guy Cormier. “Our membership grew at the fastest rate in 10 years, and this includes young adults. Moreover, surplus earnings are growing and living up to our expectations.”

Cormier also believes that Desjardins’ recent efforts to improve itself have contributed to its stellar performance.

“We also received an award from Corporate Knights for our new ETFs and SocieTerra fund, underscoring Desjardins Group’s leadership in achieving the objectives of the Paris Accord,” he said. “I don’t think there is any doubt that efforts to continually strengthen our member and client culture and our digital shift have a lot to do with the remarkable results last year.”

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