Canadian Underwriter

Desjardins p&c ops contribute to strong first quarter

May 31, 2002   by Canadian Underwriter

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The general insurance sector of Quebec-based financial services firm Desjardins Group contributed $0.3 million to a healthy first quarter 2002 for the company as whole. This compares with a $5 million negative contribution for the first three months of 2001 from the p&c operations.
The reason for the turnaround is growth in all lines of business and a positive claims experience, specifically in Quebec. Favorable weather conditions in the first few months of 2002 were an asset.
However, it was the company’s financial intermediation segment, consisting largely of a caisse network selling products such as GICs, securities and mutual funds, was chiefly responsible for the company’s overall combined surplus earnings of $192 million for the first quarter 2002. This represents an increase of $68 million, or 54.8%, over Q1 2001.
Return on equity stood at 14.7% at the end of March 2002, versus 10.1% a year prior. Overall assets of the group amount to $86 billion, compared to $82.1 billion at the end of Q1 2001.
“These excellent results are the fruit of combined efforts in every sphere of activity at Desjardins Group, and they also attest to the strength of the Quebec economy,” says president and CEO Alban D’Amours.
Early in 2000, Desjardins bought the p&c business of CIBC, at the time noting that the acquisition was a vehicle for expansion outside of Quebec.

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