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Quarterly financial statistics for enterprises, second quarter 2017

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Released: 2017-08-24

Canadian corporations' operating profits

$91.4 billion

Second quarter 2017

0.1% increase

(quarterly change)

Overall operating profits

Overall, Canadian corporations earned $91.4 billion in operating profits in the second quarter, up $60 million or 0.1% from the first quarter. An increase in operating profits for the non-financial industries was offset by a decrease in the financial industries.

Compared with the second quarter of 2016, operating profits for Canadian corporations were up 25.5% in the second quarter.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Quarterly operating profits
Quarterly operating profits

Non-financial industries

In the non-financial industries, operating profits increased 2.6% from the first quarter to $62.1 billion in the second quarter, while operating revenues increased 1.4% or $12.5 billion. Overall, operating profits were up in 14 of 17 non-financial industries.

Compared with the second quarter of 2016, operating profits for Canadian non-financial corporations increased 21.3% in the second quarter.

Profits up in retail trade, wholesale trade and transportation industries

Operating profits in retail trade rose 3.6% from the first quarter to $5.2 billion in the second quarter. The increase was mostly attributable to food and beverages stores, and motor vehicles and parts dealers, where operating profits both rose by 9.5%. According to a July 2017 Desrosiers Automotive Consultants report, vehicle sales in Canada reached record levels in both May and June.

In wholesale trade, operating profits increased 3.0% from the first quarter to $7.0 billion in the second quarter. A marked 9.5% increase in operating profits in the machinery, equipment and supplies merchant wholesalers led the gain for this sector.

Operating profits in the transportation and warehousing sector increased 5.6% to $5.7 billion in the second quarter, with the transportation subsector rising 3.0% to $3.2 billion. Increased passenger traffic and lower maintenance costs by airline carriers contributed to higher operating profits.

In the professional, scientific and technical services sector, operating profits rose by 12.5% to $3.9 billion in the second quarter, following a quarter-to-quarter decline of 9.5% in the first quarter.

Operating profits down in manufacturing

Operating profits in manufacturing were down 5.7% from the first quarter to $12.9 billion in the second quarter, with 5 of 13 manufacturing industries reporting declines.

Most of the decrease in operating profits was attributable to petroleum and coal products manufacturing, down 83.8% from the first quarter. This drop was mainly attributable to lower production as a result of a temporary plant closure due to an unplanned outage and higher maintenance costs.

Operating profits in primary metal manufacturing declined 6.7% to $1.6 billion in the second quarter.

These declines were partially offset by higher operating profits in motor vehicle and parts (+20.8%) and wood and paper (+12.8%) manufacturing.

Excluding petroleum and coal products manufacturing, operating profits for the manufacturing sector rose 4.9% to $12.6 billion.

Losses persist in oil and gas

The oil and gas extraction industry reported an operating loss of $839 million in the second quarter, but that was still an improvement from a $1.5 billion loss in the first quarter.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Change in operating profits in major non-financial industries
Change in operating profits in major non-financial industries

Financial industries

Operating profits down in financial sectors

Overall, operating profits in the financial industries decreased 5.0%, falling from $30.8 billion in the first quarter to $29.3 billion in the second quarter.

Operating profits for depository credit intermediation declined 11.4% from the first quarter to $11.1 billion in the second quarter. The $1.4 billion decrease in operating profits was the result of higher expenses, mainly from insurance-related activities in this subsector, combined with a 0.5% decrease in operating revenues.

Insurance carriers' operating profits fell 21.2% to $2.2 billion in the second quarter. Life, health and medical insurance carriers led the decrease, down 73.4% to $0.2 billion. The decline was attributable to the fair value adjustments to actuarial liabilities. Property and casualty insurance carriers' profits declined 4.0% to $1.1 billion in the second quarter.

  Note to readers

Data on quarterly profits in this release are seasonally adjusted and expressed in current dollars. Financial data for the first quarter of 2017 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. For financial industries, these are included, along with interest paid on deposits.

In this release, all profits are operating profits unless otherwise stated. Operating profits differ from net profits, which represent the after-tax profits earned by corporations.

For more details on the concept of actuarial liabilities, consult the page Actuarial Liabilities.

Real-time CANSIM tables

Real-time CANSIM tables 187-8001 and 187-8002 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 24.


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

The publication Quarterly Financial Statistics for Enterprises (Catalogue number61-008-X) is no longer released. Data from the Quarterly Survey of Financial Statements are available in CANSIM.

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; or Media Relations (613-951-4636;

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