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IGM posts profits, again

WINNIPEG-BASED IGM Financial Inc. the largest mutual fund company in the country which operates Investors Group and Mackenzie Financial, reported stable profits for the second quarter at $190.3 million.

Sales were up eight per cent to $720.2 million with a 15.9 increase in Investors Group mutual funds and a 11.2 per cent increase in sales at Mackenzie.

Assets-under-management totals were up 13.3 per cent to $141.4 billion compared with the same period last year.

Investors Group consultant network increased by 140 in the quarter to 4,871.

IG mutual fund sales for the second quarter of 2014 were $1.67 billion compared with $1.49 billion in the prior year, and net redemptions were $39 million compared to $167 million.

At Mackenzie, mutual fund net sales for the second quarter were $115 million compared to net redemptions of $362 million a year ago.

Building permits drop

MANITOBA had the dubious distinction of posting the biggest drop in building permit activity in the country in June, new Statistics Canada data shows.

The federal agency said Thursday Manitoba contractors took out only $207.4 million worth of residential and non-residential permits during the month. That was a 46.7 per cent drop from the previous month, when $389.2 million worth of permits were issued by municipalities in the province.

The decline came on the heels of a 39.3 per cent jump in permit values from April to May.

Despite June's slowdown in activity, building permit values for the first six months of the year in Manitoba were still running 7.7 per cent ahead of last year's pace after the same period -- $1.27 billion versus $1.18 billion.

The Statistics Canada data show June's decline was felt on both sides of the building industry. Hardest hit was the non-residential sector, where permit values plummeted by 60 per cent to $88.3 million from $219 million in May. Residential permit values were down 30.1 per cent to $119.1 million from $170.2 million.

Nationally, Statistics Canada said municipalities issued $8 billion worth of permits during the month, which was a 13.5 per cent improvement from May.

A total of five provinces posted gains in June, led by Quebec, with an 86.3 per cent increase. Alberta was a distant second, with a 13 per cent improvement.

Statistics Canada said the value of non-residential building permits issued in Canada jumped by 32.5 per cent to $3.8 billion in June, while the value of residential permits rose by 0.4 per cent to $4.2 billion.

Winnipeg robot celebrated

A WINNIPEG-MADE robotic-pharmacy compounding system developed by Intelligent Hospital Systems, has been named the industry leader for the second year in a row by an industry research firm.

In the "2014 Best in KLAS: Medical Equipment & Infrastructure" report, the system, called RIVA (robotic intravenous automation) had an overall score of 81.3, the highest for IV robots.

This is the third time in three years that RIVA has been recognized in a KLAS report. An earlier study of pharmacy automation gave RIVA high marks for having needed functionality, being ready for widespread industry use and customers that would buy it again.

Data in the 2013 report found 95 per cent of RIVA customers surveyed by KLAS indicated they would buy the RIVA system again.

KLAS is a research firm that works with thousands of health care executives and clinicians, gathering data on software, services, medical equipment and infrastructure systems.

"Ongoing pharmacy-product recalls and the passage of legislation in the U.S. to better regulate pharmacies show automation is an increasingly necessary solution for safe and efficient pharmacy production," said Niels Erik Hansen, president and CEO of IH Systems. "RIVA continues to be recognized by pharmacists not only for enhancing medication and patient safety, but also for increasing efficiency and reducing costs."

ARTIS sees revenue spike

ARTIS Real Estate Investment Trust has reported an 8.3 per cent jump in revenues for the second quarter of 2014.

The Winnipeg-based trust said revenues grew to $119.9 million from $110.7 million in the same period in 2013.

Net operating income from its properties was also up 7.4 per cent to $77.1 million from $71.7 million, and funds from operations -- the term trusts use to indicate their financial performance -- climbed by 8.2 per cent to $46.9 million from $43.4 million.

Artis CEO Armin Martens noted the trust also added a new Canadian property and four new U.S. properties to its portfolio during the quarter, and raised $115.1 million in new equity capital.

-- staff

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 8, 2014 B7

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