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Power Corporation of Canada says its profit for participating shareholders fell to $292 million in the first quarter, from $525 million in the year-earlier period when it recorded gains from the sales of some investments.

The Montreal-based financial services and investment company says the net earnings for the quarter ended March 31 amounted to 63 cents per share, down from $1.13 per share in the 2018 first quarter.

Its main subsidiary, Power Financial Corp., contributed $350 million of the net income, down from $383 million last year.

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The biggest decline, however, was at the segment that includes Sagard Investment Funds, where net income dropped to $11 million from $227 million in last year’s first quarter.

Last year’s first quarter included distributions from the sale of Sagard Europe investments.

Power Corporation also announced a six per cent increase in its quarterly dividend for participating preferred shares and subordinate voting shares. The payout will rise to 40.5 cents from 38.20 cents per share.

Power Corporation continues to be the majority shareholder in Power Financial Corp., but it’s stake has fallen to 64.1 per cent from 65.5 per cent. The parent company is also the owner of the La Presse news organization.

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