Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Montreal's Power Corp. sees growth in quarter 3

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TORONTO -- Power Corp. of Canada says its third-quarter net earnings grew to $204 million as contributions from its subsidiaries -- including Power Financial Corp. -- increased.

The Montreal-based conglomerate said net earnings attributable to participating shareholders amounted to 44 cents per share, compared with $189 million, or 41 cents per share in the corresponding period in 2011.

However, operating earnings attributable to participating shareholders fell to $240 million, or 52 cents per share, down from $337 million, or 73 per share, during the same period of 2011 as it took a charge on corporate activities.

Power Corp.'s share of operating earnings from its subsidiaries was $300 million, up 5.6 per cent from $284 million for the same period in 2011.

But corporate activities resulted in a charge of $48 million, compared to a contribution of $64 million in the year-earlier quarter. The company lost $19 million from investments compared to a $93-million gain in the quarter a year-earlier.

Other items represented a charge of $36 million, falling from a charge of $148 million in the 2011 period.

Power Financial, which has stakes in the Mackenzie, Investors Group and other mutual fund operators, posted a 47 per cent increase in third-quarter net profit compared with the same period last year, when a large impairment charge depressed net profits.

The Montreal-based company behind Great-West Lifeco Inc. and IGM Financial said Wednesday its net earnings in the three months ended Sept. 30 were $460 million or 65 cents per share.

That compared with $312 million of net earnings or 44 cents per share in the same 2011 period when it booked an impairment charge of $116 million. Net operating earnings for the third quarter of 2011 were $428 million, or 60 cents per share, without the special item.

The contribution to operating earnings by Lifeco, Power Financial's insurance and investment business, was $356 million, compared with $312 million in the same period in 2011.

IGM, the financial planning and investment products division that includes Investors Group and Mackenzie, contributed $109 million, down from $121 million, while the company's interest in Pargesa Holding SA contributed $41 million, up from $36 million.

Charges for corporate activities and dividends amounted to $46 million in the period, up from $41 million in the year-ago quarter.

In addition to its stake in Power Financial, Power Corp. owns Square Victoria Communications Group, which holds interests in La Presse publisher Gesca and Square Victoria Digital Properties.

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 15, 2012 B10

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