Manulife Financial Corporation (NYSE:MFC) Q3 2019 Earnings Conference Call Transcript
Nov 07, 2019 • 08:00 am ET
Good morning and welcome to the Manulife Financial Third Quarter 2019 Financial Results Conference Call for Thursday, November 7th, 2019. Your host for today will be Ms. Adrienne O'Neill. Please go ahead, Ms. O'Neil.
Thank you, and good morning. Welcome to Manulife's earnings conference call to discuss our third quarter 2019 results. Our earnings release, financial statements, and related MD&A, statistical package and webcast slides for today's call are available on the Investor Relations section of our website at manulife.com.
We will begin today's presentation with an overview of our third quarter highlights and an update on our strategic priorities by Roy Gori, our President and Chief Executive Officer. Following Roy's remarks, Phil Witherington, our Chief Financial Officer, will discuss the Company's financial and operating results. We will end today's presentation with Steve Finch, our Chief Actuary, who will discuss the Company's annual review of actuarial methods and assumptions. After the prepared remarks, we will move to the question-and-answer portion of the call. We ask each participant to adhere to a limit of two questions. If you have additional questions, please requeue and we will do our best to respond to all questions.
Before we start, please refer to slide 2 for caution on forward-looking statements, and Slide 39 for a note on the use of non-GAAP financial measures in this presentation. Note that certain material factors or assumptions are applied in making forward-looking statements and actual results may differ materially from what is stated. This slide also indicates where to find more information on these topics and the factors that could cause the actual results to differ materially from those stated.
With that, I'd like to turn the call over to Roy Gori, our President and Chief Executive Officer. Roy?
Thank you, Adrienne. Good morning, everyone and thank you for joining us today. Turning to Slide 5. Yesterday, we announced our financial results for the third quarter of 2019. Solid core earnings of CAD1.5 billion were in line with a very strong prior-year quarter and was supported by double-digit growth in Asia. We delivered net income of CAD723 million which included a CAD500 million charge related to updates to the ultimate reinvestment rate, URR, in accordance with changes issued by the Canadian Actuarial Standards Board.
Core ROE was strong at 13% in the third quarter and 13.3% for the year-to-date. New business value increased 14% from the prior-year quarter with double-digit growth across all regions and was up 20% year-to-date. And our solid core earnings contributed to book value per share growth of 16%. With a LICAT ratio of 146% and leverage now down to 26.1%, the Company continues to be in a strong capital position with substantial financial flexibility. We achieved these solid results in spite of notable headwinds, including the temporary suspension of COLI sales in Japan, market volatility, low-interest rates, and geopolitical tension.
Turning to Slide 6. We're executing on our five priorities and are once again pleased with the progress that we made during the quarter.