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Report On Business Restructuring charges drag down CIBC’s profit; boosts dividend

The large CIBC sign outside the bank's office building at the south east corner of King St. West and Bay St. in Toronto on Oct 13 2015.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

CIBC reports its net income for the fourth quarter was $778-million, a 2.8 per cent decline from the same time last year due to higher restructuring costs at the corporate level.

The bank's profit for the three months ended Oct. 31 amounted to $1.93 per CIBC common share – or $2.36 per share after excluding $161-million in restructuring expenses after taxes.

Revenue increased to nearly $3.5-billion from about $3.2-billion in the comparable period last year, up 8.4 per cent, with all three main portions of the business contributing to the increase.

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The bank declared a dividend of $1.15 on common shares for the quarter ending January 31, 2016, an increase of 3 cents.

CIBC's retail and business banking operations accounted for most of the overall fourth quarter profit: $655-million – up $53-million from the same time last year.

The bank's wealth management arm also increased its profit to $123-million from $119-million and its capital markets operations grew net income to $209-million from $136-million.

The decline in overall fourth-quarter profit was at the corporate level, where the loss grew to $209-million from $46-million.

The bank had disclosed in October at an investor day that it would take a restructuring charge of up to $200-million in the fourth quarter, but provided no further details then or in Thursday's press release on its quarterly and 12-month results.

It did reveal that CIBC's total work force was reduced by 124 positions during the quarter to 16,977, but they accounted for less than one per cent of CIBC's employees.

Excluding the restructuring and other items, CIBC's adjusted earnings for the quarter rose to $952-million from $911-million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014.

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For the full financial year ended Oct. 31, CIBC had $3.59-billion of net income and $7.92-billion of revenue, up from $3.22-billion of net income and $7.5-billion of revenue in fiscal 2014.

"In 2015, all three of our strategic business units delivered strong performance," CIBC president and CEO Victor Dodig said in a statement. "Looking to 2016, I am confident that our client-focused strategy and our investment in innovation and process improvements will add long-term value for our shareholders."

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