February 19, 2009 -

Equitable Life of Canada® reported another year of growth and solid financial results. The Company announced a record $30.5 million in overall earnings supported by solid core results and the sales of its group administration software. Premiums and deposits increased by 3% backed by a 12% increase in group benefit sales and an 11% increase in individual life sales.

"2008 was a year that saw an unstable economic environment and unprecedented stock market volatility that tested the strength of all companies in the industry. Prudent management practices, consistent with our mutual philosophy, have held us in good stead in these turbulent times. Mutuality and our focus on long-term policyholder commitments go hand-in-hand with our strong risk management and the Company's high quality investment portfolios. 2009 will continue to be challenging but we fully expect the Company to continue to grow and prosper," said Ronald Beettam, President and Chief Executive Officer.

2008 Financial Highlights

  • Net income rose to $30.5 million, including the one time benefit of $8.6 million relating to the group administration software sales
  • Earnings from core operations were $21.9 million, up 4% from 2007, an excellent result given the market conditions
  • Participating policyholders' equity increased to $237 million, up 15% from 2007
  • Capital strength remained very strong and well above the OSFI minimums as measured by the Minimum Continuing Capital and Surplus Ratio (MCCSR) ending the year at 197%
  • Return on policyholders' equity was 13.7% (10.1% excluding the software sales)
  • Premiums and deposits increased by 3% from last year to $455 million, led by a 22% increase in individual life, offset partially by lower savings and retirement deposits due to the market conditions