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A Laurentian Bank branch, in Montreal, on June 21, 2016.

Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press

Laurentian Bank Financial Group beat expectations as it reported a second-quarter profit of $53.1-million, up from a profit of $8.9-million a year ago.

The Montreal-based bank said Wednesday the profit amounted to $1.15 per diluted share, up from 13 cents per diluted share in the same quarter last year.

“The momentum we built in the first quarter of 2021 continued into the second quarter with strong performance in capital markets, lower provision for credit losses and our continued focus on cost discipline,” Laurentian CEO Rania Llewellyn said in a statement.

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The improvement came as the bank’s provisions for credit losses fell to $2.4-million in the quarter compared with $54.9-million a year ago when the economy stalled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Laurentian said releases of provisions on performing loans largely owing to improvements in the economic outlook and lower provisions on impaired loans in the quarter contributed to the improvement.

Revenue totalled $249.8-million, up from $240.1-million a year earlier.

On an adjusted basis, Laurentian says it earned $1.23 per diluted share, up from an adjusted profit of 20 cents per diluted share a year ago.

Analysts on average had expected the bank to earn an adjusted profit of 89 cents per share, according to financial data firm Refinitiv.

The results from Laurentian followed a trend of that saw Canada’s large banks report better-than-expected results for their second quarter.

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