Irish Life profit up 18% to €201m as assets under management rise

Net earnings of €63 million for fourth quarter up from €61 million a year earlier

Irish Life contributed profits of €201 million for its parent Great-West Lifeco in 2017, up 18 per cent from the €170 million recorded a year earlier.

The company, which is one of the largest financial services companies in the Republic with more than 1.3 million customers, was acquired from the State by Canada Life owner Great-West Lifeco for €1.3 billion in 2013.

New figures show Irish Life’s net earnings for the fourth quarter were €63 million, as against €61 million for the same period in 2016.

The amount of assets under management also rose in the final three months of the year, increasing to €82.7 billion from €78 billion.


During the quarter, in the largest transaction of its kind in Ireland, Irish Life arranged a €335 million "bulk-annuity" insurance policy, more popularly known as a buy-in, on behalf of Danske Bank's Irish defined-benefit pension scheme.

The company said it paid out almost €610 million to customers affected by illness and death last year.

"Our business performance highlights during 2017 included the continued growth of our insurance, investment and pension businesses as well as the successful integration of Irish Life Health," said Irish Life Group chief executive David Harney.

Great-West Lifeco reported a 13 per cent rise in sales and a 5 per cent jump in adjusted net earnings in the fourth quarter.

Full-year earnings totalled CAD$2.65 billion (€1.71 billion), compared with CAD$2.68 billion in 2016.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist