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Earthquakes rattle Great-West results Add to ...

Great-West Lifeco , Canada’s No. 2 insurer, said Thursday its quarterly profit slipped on charges related to the recent earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand.

The Winnipeg, Manitoba-based company earned $415-million, or 44 cents a share, in the first quarter ended March 31. That compared with a profit of $428-million, or 45 cents a share, in the year-before period.

Analysts had expected, on average, a profit of 46 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Great-West said provisions relating to the earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand hurt earnings by $75-million or 8 cents a share.

Consolidated assets under administration were up $8.2-billion from Dec. 31 to $495.2-billion.

The company sells insurance and investment products under the Great-West, Canada Life, London Life and Putnam Investments banners. Holding company Power Financial, which is controlled by Montreal’s Desmarais family, holds a majority stake in the company.

Insurers Manulife Financial and Sun Life Financial both reported earnings this week that were ahead of expectations.

Great-West shares were down 1.26 percent at $26.68 on the Toronto Stock Exchange at midday, little changed from where they were before the results were released.

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