Laurentian Profit Rises 3.8% on Acquisition Gains

Laurentian Bank of Canada, the country’s seventh-largest lender, said second-quarter profit rose 3.8 percent, beating analysts’ estimates, on contributions from acquisitions. The company raised its dividend.

Net income for the period ended April 30 climbed to C$35.1 million ($33.9 million), or C$1.10 a share, from C$33.9 million, or C$1.22, a year earlier, the Montreal-based bank said today in a statement. Revenue advanced 8.1 percent to C$214.9 million.

Laurentian, with 154 branches as of April 30, relies on retail and business banking in Quebec for much of its revenue. The lender, led by Chief Executive Officer Rejean Robitaille, bought the trust unit of Toronto-based AGF Management Ltd. for C$242 million last year as it seeks to increase fee-based income and complement its B2B Bank unit, which is targeted at financial advisers and mortgage brokers.

“Our acquisitions and other growth strategies have contributed to expanding the bank’s revenue base over the past year,” Robitaille said in the statement.

Adjusted earnings, which exclude some items, were C$1.29 a share, beating the C$1.24 average estimate of 10 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. The bank increased its quarterly dividend 2 percent to 50 cents a share.

Shares Rise

Earnings from the lender’s B2B unit climbed 21 percent to C$9.8 million, fueled by contributions from the AGF unit, according to the statement. Retail-banking profit declined 9.3 percent to C$9.7 million on higher loan losses and tighter net interest margins, which is the difference between what a bank pays for deposits and charges for loans. Real estate and commercial earnings fell 3.4 percent to C$16.4 million.

Laurentian gained 0.3 percent to C$44.20 at 4 p.m. in Toronto. The shares have declined 0.1 percent this year, compared with the 0.3 percent slide of the eight-company Standard & Poor’s/TSX Commercial Banks Index.

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