Kingston, Ont.-based Empire Life Insurance Company reported net income attributable to common shareholders of $72 million in Q4 2020, down from $76 million a year earlier.
Earnings in Empire Life’s wealth management division were lower due to strengthening reserves and unfavourable assumption updates as a result of poor market performance early in the year, according to a release.
That decline was partially offset by improved asset trading gains in Empire Life’s individual insurance line.
The impact of new business in the quarter was -$1 million, an improvement over -$7 million a year earlier thanks to favourable new business profits in individual insurance and reduced strain in Empire Life’s employee benefits business.
For the calendar year, Empire Life reported net income attributable to common shareholders of $140 million in 2020, down from $174 million in 2019.
“We entered 2020 in a strong capital position,” Mark Sylvia, Empire Life’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “Despite equity market declines early in the year and sustained low interest rates, we were able to maintain our capital strength and end the year in a strong position.”