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CWB Financial Group raised its dividend as it reported its fourth-quarter profit rose compared with a year ago to beat expectations.

The Edmonton-based bank says it will now pay a quarterly dividend of 30 cents per share, up from 29 cents.

The increased payment to shareholders came as CWB said it earned a profit attributable to common shareholders of $90-million or $1.01 per diluted share for the quarter ended Oct. 31, up from a profit of $63.4-million or 73 cents a year earlier. Revenue totalled $260.6-million, up from $236.6-million in the same quarter last year.

CWB posted a $10.2-million reversal of its provisions for credit losses, compared with a charge of $19.6-million in the same quarter last year.

On an adjusted basis, CWB says it earned $1.03 per share, up from an adjusted profit 75 cents per share in its fourth quarter last year.

Analysts on average had expected an adjusted profit of 86 cents per share, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.

For its full year, CWB says it earned a profit attributable to common shareholders of $327.5-million or $3.73 per diluted share on $1-billion in revenue. The result compared with a profit of $249-million or $2.86 per diluted share on $897.4-million a year earlier.

CWB chief executive Chris Fowler said it was the first time the bank’s annual revenue has topped $1-billion.

“Our momentum will continue for the year ahead, and we expect to deliver double-digit growth of loans and branch-raised deposits,” Fowler said in a statement.

“We expect to deliver pre-tax, pre-provision income growth in the mid to high-single digits next year based on strong revenue growth balanced with the significant investments we’ll continue to make in our capabilities to support higher levels of full-service client growth for the years to come.”

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