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Quarterly financial statistics for enterprises, fourth quarter 2013

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Released: 2014-02-25

Canadian corporations earned $79.1 billion in operating profits in the fourth quarter, up 0.8% from the previous quarter. This increase followed a 0.2% gain in the third quarter. Overall, operating profits rose in 14 of 22 industries.

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, operating profits grew 2.1% to $56.9 billion in the fourth quarter, following a 3.7% increase the previous quarter. Information and cultural industries led the gain, up 14.9% to $4.6 billion, mainly on the strength of a 25.9% increase in operating profits in the telecommunications industry.

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 fell 2.3% to $22.2 billion, following a 7.5% decline in the third quarter. Most of the fourth quarter decline came from the depository credit intermediation industry.

Operating profits for Canadian corporations increased 5.6% compared with the fourth quarter of 2012. Profits rose 6.6% in the non-financial sector and 3.3% in the financial sector.

Non-financial sector

Operating profits rose 25.9% in telecommunications to $3.5 billion, as a result of increased operating revenues coupled with operating cost containment.

Transportation and warehousing profits increased 13.2% to $3.9 billion, the result of a better than normal fourth quarter.

Operating profits in the manufacturing sector rose 0.7% to $11.2 billion. While 8 of 13 manufacturing industries reported increases, a decline in computer and electronic product manufacturing operating profits largely offset the gains.

The growth in manufacturing profits came mainly from fabricated metal product and machinery manufacturing, as well as motor vehicle and parts manufacturing.

Profits rose 14.1% to $1.8 billion in fabricated metal product and machinery manufacturing.

Motor vehicle and parts manufacturing profits rose 22.6% to $1.2 billion.

Operating profits for wholesale trade grew 1.3% to $7.7 billion. Merchant wholesalers led the increase, up 4.0% to $4.0 billion.

Operating profits for retail trade rose 2.7% to $4.2 billion, led mainly by clothing, department and other general merchandise stores, where profits were up 19.9% to $1.2 billion.

Financial sector

In the fourth quarter, operating profits in the financial sector fell 2.3% to $22.2 billion.

Operating profits for depository credit intermediaries declined by $736 million to $9.5 billion.

For insurance carriers, operating profits rose 5.3% to $4.2 billion. Life, health and medical insurers posted a 13.1% gain in operating profits to $2.5 billion, while property and casualty insurance carrier profits fell 10.3% to $1.0 billion.

  Note to readers

Quarterly financial statistics are compiled using financial information provided by enterprises that derive this data from their financial statements. Since January 1, 2011, Canadian publicly accountable enterprises were 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 quarterly financial estimates for the first, second and third quarters of 2013 have been revised. For more information on seasonal adjustment, see Seasonal adjustment and identifying economic trends.

Quarterly financial statistics from the first quarter of 2010 onwards 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.

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

Financial statistics for enterprises for the first quarter will be released on May 27.

Contact information

For more information, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300;

To enquire about the concepts, methods, or data quality of this release, contact Daryl Keen (613-951-1810; or Daniel Agoussi (613-951-2658;, Industrial Organization and Finance Division.

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