For the first quarter, Desjardins Group has recorded surplus earnings (before member dividends) of $501 million, up $118 million or about 31% from the same quarter last year. Adjusted surplus earnings increased by $110 million, or about 28%.

The firm’s performance was due in part to continued growth in caisse network operations, greater gains on investments and higher income related to growth in assets under management, says a release.

The firm reported an increase in operating income of $263 million, or 7%. This growth is attributed to the wealth management and life and health insurance segment, and to the property and casualty insurance segment. Both segments benefited from increased premium income, says the release.

Net surplus earnings generated by the wealth management and life and health insurance segment were $206 million at the end of the quarter (Q1 2017: $143 million). This 44.1% increase was mainly due to higher gains on the disposal of securities and real estate investments in 2018 and increased income related to the growth of assets under management. The increase was partly offset by a “less favourable claims experience” in the three-month period ended March 31, 2018, says the release.

Total assets were $282.1 billion at the end of the first quarter, up $7.0 billion or 2.5% since December 31, 2017.

The firm’s total capital ratio was 17.7%.

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