Equitable Group Inc. reported a “record” 2011, including a 15.3 per cent rise in mortgage production.

Equitable succeeded in its 2011 goals of growing its conventional mortgage book ($2.8 billion), expanding national presence and sustaining credit quality, president and CEO Andrew Moor said.

“It is clear to us that our current strategy, including the alignment realized between our mortgage production activities and our goal of optimizing risk-adjusted returns, will serve our shareholders very well going forward.”

Adjusted net income was $62.7 million, compared to $61.1 million in 2010. Total mortgage assets were a record $9.6 billion at year end, up 16.5 per cent from the end of 2010 and conventional mortgage principal increased 22.9 per cent year over year to $4.3 billion, inclusive of a 33.4 per cent increase in single family mortgage principal, which reached a record $2.1 billion for the company.

During the fourth quarter this business line originated $345.6 million of conventional mortgages, 19.7 per cent higher than in the fourth quarter of 2010.

“This was a solid finish to a record year, and our strong and growing mortgage book provide Equitable with very positive momentum for 2012,” Moor said.

“Industry forecasts suggest that Canadian real estate prices will be stable in 2012, nonetheless we are prepared for the possibility of a soft landing for the market as a result of our proactive, risk-sensitive lending practices.”

Although still working primarily in Ontario, the company had been increasing its presence in Western Canada and Quebec As a result, 58.3 per cent of the Company's mortgages were secured on properties located in Ontario, 14.9 per cent were located in Alberta, 13.1 per cent of were located in Quebec, 5.8 per cent in British Columbia, 1.5 per cent were located in Manitoba, and the balance in other selected regions of Canada.

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