calculate / Olga Shumitskaya

On Friday, Kingston, Ont.-based Empire Life Insurance Co. reported common shareholders’ net income of $32 million for the second quarter, down from $48 million in Q2 2020 and $157 million in the first quarter.

The decrease was primarily due to higher claims in the firm’s employee benefits line and losses on certain assets compared to gains for the same period in 2020.

Year-to-date common shareholders’ net income was $189 million, up from $16 million in the first half of 2020, thanks to the release of segregated fund guarantee reserves in the first quarter of 2021.

Expected profit on in-force business fell by 4% in Q2, primarily driven by the insurer’s wealth management line.

As of June 30, Empire Life’s total assets under management were $18.9 billion, up from $17.8 billion the year prior.

“We continue to be pleased with our financial results this quarter and year to date,” said Mark Sylvia, president and CEO of Empire Life, in a release. “While our Q2 earnings reflect an increase in employee benefits claims, this is an indication that Canadians are resuming some of the important health care activities perhaps not available to them during the height of the pandemic. And that’s very positive news for our society.”