TORONTO May 7 Canadian asset manager CI
Financial Corp reported a 24 percent rise in quarterly
profit on Wednesday, matching expectations, as surging equity
markets drove net sales and boosted assets under management.
CI, which is 37 percent owned by Bank of Nova Scotia
, also raised its monthly dividend by 5.3 percent to 10
Canadian cents a share, and by mid-morning its shares were up
1.8 percent at an all-time high of C$36.45.
For the first quarter, net income rose to C$121.7 million
($111.73 million), or 43 Canadian cents a share, from C$98.5
million, or 35 Canadian cents a share, in the same period a year
Average assets under management reached a record high C$93.5
billion at March 31, up 19 percent from a year earlier, as net
sales rose 50 percent to C$1.7 billion during the quarter.
John Aiken, an analyst with Barclays Capital, said in a note
the result was in line with "deservedly heightened
expectations," noting CI's strong asset growth.
Free cash flow rose to C$123.2 million from C$98.6 million a
($1 = 1.0893 Canadian Dollars)
(Reporting by Cameron French Editing by W Simon)