Corporate profits

Corporate profits in Canada hit record highs in 2019

The financial sector led the way, with profits rising 10.6% in the fourth quarter to $ 37.2 billion.

Within the industry, the insurance business drove higher profits, while the banking segment saw its operating profit decline 2.5% due to lower non-interest income.

Credit union profits also jumped 21.6% in the quarter to $ 1.3 billion, according to StatsCan.

In a research note, National Bank Financial Inc. (FBN) said operating profits of non-financial corporations reached an all-time high of $ 297.6 billion in 2019.

While recent headlines on rail blockades and regulatory burdens focus on the challenges facing Canadian businesses, “business can still be profitable,” NBF said.

“The $ 4.7 billion advance over the previous year is due to higher commodity prices that boosted mining (the highest profits in eight years) and oil and gas. gas (highest profits in five years), ”he said.

Profit gains were also “decent” in service-producing industries such as transportation / warehousing, real estate / rental, education / healthcare, and the arts / entertainment, he said. he noted.

At the same time, NBF said slowing growth and the global trade war were squeezing profits in cyclical sectors, such as construction and manufacturing.

Statistics Canada reported that the manufacturing sector’s operating profit fell 2.7% in the fourth quarter to $ 13.5 billion.