TORONTO, March 5 Laurentian Bank of Canada
said on Wednesday its first-quarter adjusted profit was
little changed from a year earlier, in line with expectations,
as the bank battles headwinds from consumer deleveraging and
Montreal-based Laurentian, Canada's eighth-largest bank by
market capitalization, said adjusted net income was C$39.3
million ($35.38 million), or C$1.29 diluted per share, in the
fiscal first quarter, versus C$39.1 million, or C$1.30 diluted
per share, in the same quarter a year earlier.
Analysts had expected a profit of C$1.28 per share,
according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Shares of Laurentian Bank were down 0.4 percent at C$46.32
in early trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Revenue at the bank, which operates almost exclusively in
the province of Quebec, was C$216.1 million, up from C$213.9
million a year earlier, as net interest margins and expenses
were largely unchanged.
Provisions for credit losses, the amount of money the bank
sets aside to cover bad loans, were C$10.5 million, up from
C$8.0 million in the same quarter in 2013. The bank said the
increase in loan losses in the first quarter reflected a return
to more normalized overall loan losses from the low levels of
Adjusted return on common shareholders' equity was 11.7
percent, down from 12.5 percent a year earlier.
Laurentian Bank Chief Executive Officer Rejean Robitaille
said compressed margins and consumer deleveraging still pose a
challenge, and the bank is focused on developing higher-margin
commercial activities and boosting profit from non-interest
sensitive sources to bolster revenues.
"As we move forward, we will continue our targeted efforts
to improve efficiency, maximize operating leverage, and deliver
the synergies related to our acquired businesses," Robitaille
said in a statement.