Great-West Lifeco Third-Quarter Profit Declines 38%

Great-West Lifeco Inc., the owner of Boston-based Putnam Investments, said third-quarter profit declined 38 percent after the insurer took provisions for litigation. The stock had its biggest one-day decline in more than two months.

Net income fell to C$275 million ($274 million), or 29 cents a share, from C$445 million, or 47 cents, a year earlier, the Winnipeg, Manitoba-based company said today in a statement.

Great-West, controlled by Montreal’s Desmarais family, said it recorded a C$225 million litigation provision related to an Ontario Superior Court of Justice ruling.

The court ordered Great-West to pay C$456 million related to how its units financed the acquisition of London Life Insurance Group in 1997. Great-West has said it plans to appeal the decision.

Great-West is the last of Canada’s four biggest life insurers to report quarterly results. Manulife Financial Corp., Canada’s largest insurer, said last week that its third-quarter loss widened to C$947 million, or 55 cents a share. Sun Life Financial Inc. had net income of C$453 million, or 79 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier loss.

Great-West, Canada’s second-biggest insurer, fell 65 cents, or 2.4 percent, to C$26.41 in 4 p.m. trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange, the biggest drop since Aug. 31.