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Quarterly financial statistics for enterprises, second quarter 2015

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Released: 2015-08-27

Operating profits

$80.9 billion

Second quarter 2015


(quarterly change)

Canadian corporations earned $80.9 billion in operating profits in the second quarter, up 12.9% from the previous quarter. The increase resulted mainly from a turnaround in profits in the financial sector and followed a 10.6% decline in the first quarter. Overall, operating profits increased in 11 of 22 industries.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Quarterly operating profits
Quarterly operating profits

In the non-financial sector, operating profits rose 1.5% to $55.3 billion in the second quarter, following declines in the previous two quarters.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Quarterly change in operating profits
Quarterly change in operating profits

In the financial sector, operating profits rose by $8.5 billion to $25.6 billion, mainly as a result of a large decrease in the value of actuarial liabilities by life insurers, which resulted in a large drop in operating expenses.

Compared with the second quarter of 2014, operating profits for all Canadian corporations decreased 3.8%. Profits fell 12.6% in the non-financial sector and increased 23.0% in the financial sector.

Non-financial sector

The oil and gas extraction industry posted an operating loss for the second consecutive quarter. However, the loss of $379 million in the second quarter was smaller than the loss of $1.2 billion in the first quarter, as the industry contained its operating expenses, while its operating revenues increased 5.4% to $36.8 billion on the strength of rallying crude oil prices toward the end of the quarter.

Profits in the petroleum and coal products manufacturing industry increased by $508 million to $1.5 billion, the result of plentiful inexpensive crude oil inputs and continued strong consumer demand for retail fuel. Operating revenues rose 6.3% to $27.5 billion, while operating expenses increased 4.5%.

Total manufacturing operating profits rose 6.5% to $13.2 billion in the second quarter. Higher profits were reported in 10 of 13 manufacturing industries.

Chemicals, plastics and rubber products manufacturing profits increased 7.2% to $2.6 billion.

Strong sales of motor vehicles in the second quarter drove profits for the motor vehicle and parts manufacturing industry, which rose 7.4% to $1.5 billion.

Fabricated metal product and machinery manufacturing recorded the largest decline in operating profits within the manufacturing sector, with profits down 11.2% to $1.5 billion.

Operating profits in wholesale trade fell 0.3% to $5.3 billion. Profits fell 7.9% to $1.3 billion for machinery, equipment and supply merchants and declined 5.0% to $2.2 billion for other merchant wholesalers. In turn, building material and supplies merchant wholesalers saw a 55.8% jump in profits to $445 million.

Operating profits in the retail sector rose 3.7% from the first quarter to $3.8 billion in the second quarter. Motor vehicle and parts dealers saw their profits fall 6.0% to $595 million. Profits for clothing, department and other general merchandise stores increased 30.6% to $897 million, following an 18.8% decline in the first quarter.

Transportation and warehousing profits fell 13.0% to $4.3 billion. Transportation profits declined 19.1% to $2.5 billion, while profits for pipelines, warehousing and transportation support activities fell 2.5% to $1.8 billion.

Information and cultural industries' profits decreased 6.7% to $3.9 billion. Declines were reported in the telecommunications industry (down 6.6% to $2.7 billion) and publishing, broadcasting, motion pictures sound recording and information services industry (down 6.7% to $1.2 billion).

Financial sector

Operating profits in the financial sector increased by $8.5 billion to $25.6 billion.

Insurance carriers' profits rose by $8.9 billion to $6.2 billion in the second quarter, rebounding from an operating loss of $2.7 billion in the first quarter. The increase came mainly from life, health and medical insurance carriers, whose operating profits rose from a loss of $4.4 billion in the first quarter to a profit of $4.2 billion in the second quarter. The higher profits in the life insurance industry were due to a $13.0 billion decrease in fair value adjustments to actuarial liability. The industry's operating revenues decreased 22.5% to $15.8 billion in the second quarter on lower derivative income. Revenues from life insurance premiums have remained stable over time.

Profits for depository credit intermediaries (banks and credit unions) decreased 10.7% to $9.6 billion.

  Note to readers

Quarterly financial statistics are compiled using financial information provided by enterprises, which derive these data from their financial statements. Starting 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 were 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 the comparability of data with those of prior periods.

Quarterly profit numbers referred to in this release are seasonally adjusted and are in current dollars. Financial data for the first quarter of 2015 have been revised.

For information on seasonal adjustment, see Seasonally adjusted data – Frequently asked questions.

Quarterly financial statistics for enterprises are based on 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.

Real-time CANSIM tables

Real-time CANSIM tables 187-8001 and 187-8002 are now available and will be updated on September 11. For more information, consult the document Real-time CANSIM tables.

Next release

Financial statistics for enterprises for the third quarter will be released on November 26.


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

The second quarter 2015 issue of the Quarterly Financial Statistics for Enterprises (Catalogue number61-008-X) will be available soon.

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 (613-864-8550; or Philippe Marceau (613-864-8790;, Industrial Organization and Finance Division.

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