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Quarterly financial statistics for enterprises, first quarter 2013

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Released: 2013-05-28

Canadian corporations earned $74.0 billion in operating profits in the first quarter, down 1.2% from the previous quarter. This followed a 1.4% increase in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Operating profits decreased in 14 of 22 industries. Leading the overall decline were insurance carriers and related activities, down 16.0% to $3.9 billion. Securities, commodity contracts and other financial investments fell 4.2% to $5.5 billion.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Quarterly operating profits - Description and data table
Quarterly operating profits

Chart 1: Quarterly operating profits - Description and data table

In the non-financial sector, first quarter operating profits rose 0.3% to $53.6 billion, following a 0.9% increase in the previous quarter. Retail trade profits increased 1.7% to $4.1 billion. Profits for manufacturing industries declined 1.0% to $12.1 billion. Wholesale trade profits fell 3.0% to $5.7 billion.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Quarterly change in operating profits - Description and data table
Quarterly change in operating profits

Chart 2: Quarterly change in operating profits - Description and data table

In the financial sector, operating profits declined 4.7% to $20.4 billion, following a 2.7% rise in the fourth quarter. Most of the first quarter decline came from insurance carriers and related activities.

On a year-over-year basis, operating profits for Canadian corporations decreased 3.3% compared with the first quarter of 2012. Profits fell 2.8% in the non-financial sector and 4.5% in the financial sector.

Non-financial sector

Operating profit growth in oil and gas extraction recovered with a 28.3% rise to $1.7 billion in the first quarter, after posting six consecutive quarterly declines.

Profits in transportation and warehousing rose 5.4% to $3.7 billion.

Operating profits in manufacturing fell 1.0% to $12.1 billion.

Of 13 manufacturing industries, 8 reported decreases. Air, rail and ship products and other transportation equipment profits fell 46.6% to $373 million. Profits for primary metal manufacturing fell 36.1% to $477 million, following a 43.9% increase in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Increases in five manufacturing industries partially offset the decrease, with two posting strong profit gains in the first quarter. Profits for chemicals, plastics and rubber products manufacturing rose 11.6% to $2.3 billion. Wood and paper manufacturing profits grew 126.4% to $436 million, as the industry benefited from strong demand for lumber and building supplies in the United States.

Retailers' profits increased 1.7% to $4.1 billion, with food and beverage stores leading the first quarter increase.

Wholesalers' profits fell 3.0% to $5.7 billion; all industries except building material and supply wholesalers declined.

Financial sector

First quarter operating profits fell $1.0 billion (-4.7%) to $20.4 billion in the financial sector. A $746 million drop in insurance carriers and related activities accounted for much of the decline. Securities, commodity contracts and other financial investments fell 4.2% to $5.5 billion, while depository credit intermediation profits rose 1.5% to $8.9 billion.

  Note to readers

Quarterly financial statistics are compiled using financial information provided by enterprises that derive these data from their financial statements. Starting on January 1, 2011, Canadian publicly accountable enterprises are required to replace Canadian Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (CGAAP) with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) when preparing their financial statements for fiscal years starting on or after January 1, 2011. Canadian private enterprises are required to replace CGAAP by Accounting Standards for Private Enterprises or IFRS. The adoption of new accounting standards by some enterprises since the beginning of 2011 may affect comparability with prior periods.

Quarterly profit numbers referred to in this release are seasonally adjusted and are in current dollars. The seasonally adjusted data have been revised back to and including the first quarter of 1999. For more information on seasonal adjustment, see Seasonal adjustment and identifying economic trends.

Quarterly financial statistics for the first quarter of 2010 and onward are based on the 2012 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). For the period prior to the first quarter of 2010, the financial statistics are based on the 2007 NAICS.

Following reconciliation to the 2010 and 2011 annual series, the unadjusted quarterly financial data have been revised back to the first quarter of 2010 inclusively.

Quarterly financial statistics for enterprises are based upon a sample survey and represent the activities of all corporations in Canada, except those that are government controlled or not-for-profit. An enterprise can be a single corporation or a family of corporations under common ownership and/or control, for which consolidated financial statements are produced.

Profits referred to in this analysis are operating profits earned from normal business activities. For non-financial industries, operating profits exclude interest and dividend revenue and capital gains/losses whereas, for financial industries, these are included, along with interest paid on deposits.

Operating profits differ from net profits, which represent the after-tax profits earned by corporations.

Aggregate balance sheet and income statement data for Canadian corporations are now available through CANSIM. They are available at the national level for 22 industry groupings.

The first quarter of 2013 issue of the Quarterly Financial Statistics for Enterprises (Catalogue number61-008-X) will soon be available.

Financial statistics for enterprises for the second quarter will be released on August 27.

Contact information

For more information, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136;

To enquire about the concepts, methods, or data quality of this release, contact Daryl Keen (613-951-1810; or Philippe Marceau (613-951-4390;, Industrial Organization and Finance Division.

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