Irish Life profits rise 17% amid investment management growth

Insurer contributes €42 million to Canadian parent’s earnings

Irish Life chief executive David Harney:  “Sales at Irish Life Investment Managers were 25 per cent ahead of budget at the end of the end of the second quarter.” Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Irish Life chief executive David Harney: “Sales at Irish Life Investment Managers were 25 per cent ahead of budget at the end of the end of the second quarter.” Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

 

Irish Life reported a 17 per cent increase in profits in the three months to the end of June, year on year, contributing €42 million to its Canadian parent Great West Lifeco’s earnings.

The Dublin-based life insurance company’s chief executive, David Harney, said the strong performance in the reporting quarter was due in part to strong growth in investment management.

“Sales at Irish Life Investment Managers were 25 per cent ahead of budget at the end of the end of the second quarter,” Mr Harney said.

Irish Life Investment Managers had almost €65 billion of assets under management at the end of last year.

The Government bought Irish Life in 2011 from Permanent TSB, then known as Irish Life & Permanent, for €1.3 billion in order to limit the taxpayer bailout bill for PTSB. It subsequently sold Irish Life for the same amount in 2013 to Great Life Westco, which merged it with its exiting Irish unit, Canada Life.

Irish Life went on last year to acquire Aviva Health and the 51 per cent of GloHealth that it did not already own. It combined the two businesses under the Irish Life Heath brand, with a 21 per cent share of the market.

“Retention and renewal rates for existing [health] customers, both corporate and consumer, have exceeded expectations,” Mr Harney said.

Meanwhile, Irish Life agreed in February to sell its 30 per cent stake in general insurer Allianz in Ireland for €160 million to the Munich-based Allianz group.

The health business has generated €8 million of pretax cost savings so far this year and is on track to achieve targeted annual savings of €16 million by the end of December, Great West Lifeco said in its second-quarter report. Irish Life is also set to deliver €8 million of cost reductions in its retail division by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, the wider Great West Lifeco group reported net profit of 585 million Canadian dollars (€392.1 million) in the second quarter, including the impact of $127 million of restructuring of the Canadian business. The company reported a $671 million profit for the same period last year.