Royal Bank of Canada profit beats estimates

TORONTO (Reuters) - Royal Bank of Canada's RY.TO fourth-quarter profit rose a better-than-expected 19 percent as strong growth in mortgages and business loans overshadowed weak capital markets-related income, the company said on Friday.

On a continuing operations basis, Canada’s largest bank earned C$1.63 billion ($1.60 billion) or C$1.09 a share, in the quarter ended October 31. That compared with a year-before profit of C$1.37 million, or 91 Canadian cents a share.

On a net basis, which includes results from RBC’s recently-sold U.S. retail bank and Liberty Life Insurance unit, profit rose 43 percent year-over-year to C$1.6 billion.

Excluding items, the bank earned C$1.11 a share, it said. Analysts had expected a profit of 98 Canadian cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The result follows stronger-than-expected results from Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and Toronto-Dominion Bank on Thursday, although investors sold their shares on concerns about a gloomy outlook for 2012.

RBC’s Canadian banking unit saw income rise 18 percent to C$904 million, while wealth management gained 8 percent to C$189 million, and insurance climbed a strong 58 percent to C$196 million.

RBC’s capital markets income, which was a strong point for TD and CIBC, declined 25 percent to C$278 million due to weak bond trading results, the bank said. ($1 = 1.02 Canadian dollars)

Reporting By Cameron French; Editing by Derek Caney