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Desjardins Financial Security, the insurance and retirement plan subsidiary of Quebec's largest financial institution, has reported a $6-million dip in year-over-year first quarter net income.

The Desjardins Group subsidiary said Monday that net income in the three months ended March 31 was $47.8-million, compared with $53.4-million in the same period last year.

The share of net income attributable to shareholders, the Desjardins caisses, totalled $44.4-million, while return on shareholder equity was 14.7 per cent, it said.

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Gross insurance premium income in the period totalled $789.9-million, up 4.8 per cent from March 31, 2011. Insurance sales amounted to $110.1-million, also as of March 31.

Savings product sales in the quarter were $540.1-million, an 11.9 per cent increase over the same 2011 period.

Assets under management and administration totalled $33-billion as of March 31, compared with $27.1-billion on the same date last year.

"Our life and health insurance company has delivered a solid financial performance in the first quarter of the year, due in part to an impressive growth in group retirement savings sales," said DFS chief executive officer Monique Leroux, who is also chairwoman, president and CEO of Desjardins Group.

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