National Bank of Canada's earnings beat market forecast

TORONTO (Reuters) - National Bank of Canada reported a 10 percent rise in third-quarter earnings, beating market expectations, helped by growth in its retail and wealth management businesses.

The bank said earnings per share, excluding one-off items, rose to C$1.53 in the quarter ended July 31, compared with C$1.39 the year before. Analysts had on average forecast earnings of C$1.50, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S data.

Net income, excluding one-off items, rose by 9 percent to C$573 million ($443 million). That included a 6 percent rise in net income at the bank’s personal and commercial business to C$248 million ($192 million). Personal lending was up 3 percent, driven primarily by an increase in mortgage lending while loans to businesses grew 8 percent from a year ago.

The bank’s wealth management business reported a 19 percent increase in net income to C$130 million, driven by improved margins and higher fees.

Rivals Royal Bank of Canada, Bank of Montreal and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce have also reported quarterly earnings which beat expectations in the

past week. Bank of Nova Scotia reported earnings in line with expectations.

Reporting by Matt Scuffham; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Chizu Nomiyama