A surge in Canadian initial public offerings in the fourth quarter bodes well for 2013, according to international consulting firm PwC.

It says $1.3 billion worth of equity was issued during the last three months of 2012 by newly public companies.

Among those was Hudson's Bay Co., which returned to the public markets after nearly seven years with a $365-million IPO in November.

Mining company Ivanplats Ltd. raised $301 million through its IPO, the second-largest of the year after HBC and the largest in 2012 in the mining sector.

PwC says the fourth-quarter breathed life into what had been a lacklustre year for IPOs, one of the ways that companies raise money from investors.

In all there, there were 62 IPOs in 2012 delivering $1.8 billion in new equity, compared with 61 IPOs and $2 billion of new equity in 2011.

"We went from a disappointing start to a reasonable outcome in 12 months," said Dean Braunsteiner, PwC's national IPO services leader.

"We didn't set any records, but it's gratifying when you consider where we've been."

He said the lingering effects of the U.S. budget negotiations in Washington may have a negative impact but that there appears to be a good foundation for 2013.

"We've seen a lot of IPOs in the development stage, across numerous sectors."

Braunsteiner noted mining companies played an important role as usual but the consumer products, retail, energy and real estate sectors were also represented.

"The results of the last quarter not only speak to the pent-up demand for equity capital, they are a testament to the underlying strength of the larger Canadian economy," he said.

The Toronto Stock Exchange accounted for 12 new issues in 2012, worth a total of $1.7 billion. The affiliated TSX Venture Exchange, which is also owned by TMX Group, had 44 IPOs in 2012 with $107 million of proceeds in total.