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(Charla Jones)
(Charla Jones)

National Bank profit rises to $303-million Add to ...

National Bank of Canada said Thursday that third-quarter profits improved 6 per cent over year-earlier levels despite charges related to asset-backed commercial paper.

The Montreal-based bank reported net income of $303-million or $1.78 per share for the quarter ended July 31, up from profits of $286-million or $1.73 per share recorded the year before.

Excluding one-time items, including a $24-million charge related to asset-backed commercial paper, earnings totalled $1.79 per share.

The bank said results were bolstered by its personal and commercial segment, which contributed $251-million to overall results and booked quarterly net income of $134-million. Profits in the financial markets segment rose to $167-million, while earnings slid to $25-million in wealth management.

"Excellent performance in the financial markets segment and the quality of our credit portfolios contributed greatly to these exceptional results for the third quarter of 2009," National Bank chief executive Louis Vachon said in a statement.

National Bank said total revenues rose to $1.13-billion from $1.08-billion a year ago.

The bank's Tier 1 capital ratio, a measure of the amount of money in reserve, stood at 10.5 per cent.

National Bank also held its quarterly dividend steady at 62 cents per share.

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