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Empire Financial Group announces 2003 year-end results

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Toronto, Ontario, April 7, 2004 – The Empire Life Insurance Company (Empire Financial Group) presented year-end results for 2003 at the company’s annual general meeting held today in Toronto. The company reported shareholders’ net income of $17.7 million in 2003 compared to $14.6 million in 2002.

The employee benefits line of business posted a record net profit of $11 million for the line that contributed to overall earnings. Net income from the individual insurance line of business was down in 2003 due to the significant impact of changes in reserve assumptions and increased new business sales strain. Capital and surplus earnings were up over last year due to a rebound in domestic and international stock markets.

"Our efforts in 2003 continued to focus on the growth of our individual life insurance sales as well as the growth of our employee benefits business through new sales and the retention of existing business," says Doug Hogeboom, President and Chief Executive Officer. Growth in individual insurance sales were up 28% over 2002 and sales in employee benefits business were up 32%.

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