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Canadian Western Bank boosts dividend Add to ...

Canadian Western Bank increased its quarterly dividend for the first time in more than two years Tuesday after its fourth-quarter profit increased 29 per cent to $39.1-million.

The Edmonton-based bank said it will increase its dividend by 18 per cent to 13 cents per share as of Jan. 13. It marks the first increase since July, 2008. The bank recorded its 90th consecutive profitable quarter as its diluted earnings per share grew to 48 cents, from 39 cents a year earlier when net earnings were $30.35-million.

Revenues for the period ended Oct. 31 increased to $108.4-million from $87.7-million a year ago on higher net interest margin and a four per cent loan growth.

For the full year, profit increased 54 per cent to a record $163.6-million. Diluted earnings per share increased to $2.05 per diluted share from $1.47 a year earlier.

Canadian Western Bank said it achieved a record financial performance for the year and surpassed its 2010 minimum targets for revenue growth, profitability, loan growth and efficiency.

Fourth-quarter profit for the banking and trust segment grew 35 per cent to $37.0-million. The improvement was attributed to a significant improvement in net interest margin, in part from the acquisition of National Leasing Group Inc., and loan growth.

Quarterly net income from insurance operations was $2.1-million, down $800,000 from a yea earlier, reflecting higher claims and operating expenses, partially offset by an increase in net earned premiums and a positive contribution from the Alberta auto risk sharing pools.

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