* Ex-items profit 79 Can cents/share vs estimates of 80 Can
* Fund sales, assets rise
* Net falls due to prior year tax benefit.
TORONTO, Feb 14 IGM Financial Inc, one
of Canada's top mutual fund companies, said on Friday that fund
sales and assets under management surged in the fourth quarter,
but net profit fell as the year-before period included a
favorable tax benefit.
The Winnipeg, Manitoba-based company earned C$197.1 million
($179.56 million), or 78 Canadian cents per share, in the
quarter. That was down from a year-earlier profit of C$202
million, or 80 Canadian cents a share, which included a C$24.4
million favorable change in income tax provision estimates.
Shares of IGM were up 22 Canadian cents at C$55.19. The
company, a division of the Montreal-based Desmarais family's
Power Corp empire, operates primarily under the
Investors Group and Mackenzie Investments banners.
Excluding two small items, IGM earned 79 Canadian cents a
share. Analysts had expected a profit of 80 Canadian cents a
share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Mutual fund gross sales at Investors Group were C$1.69
billion in the quarter up from C$1.42 billion a year earlier. At
Mackenzie, fund sales hit C$2.02 billion, up from C$1.85
Total assets under management at Dec. 31 were C$131.8
billion, up from C$120.7 billion.