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Quebec-based Laurentian Bank increases its third-quarter net income

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MONTREAL - Laurentian Bank (TSX:LB) reported Thursday a third-quarter profit of $40.1 million, up from a year ago, helped by its commercial banking business.

The Quebec-based bank earned $1.27 per diluted share, up from $27 million, or 86 cents per diluted share, for the same quarter of 2013.

Excluding one-time items, the bank had an adjusted profit of $42.4 million, or $1.35 diluted per share, compared with $38.5 million, or $1.27 per share, in the same quarter last year.

Analysts had expected adjusted earnings per share of $1.40.

Total revenue was down slightly to $219.6 million from $221 million year-over-year.

Laurentian's personal and commercial banking arm earned $30 million for the quarter, up from $26.1 million a year ago.

The bank's said its commercial loan portfolio grew by 16 per cent year-over-year and commercial mortgages grew by nine per cent, excluding the sale of $102 million of commercial mortgage loans in the second quarter of 2014.

On the bank's retail side, Laurentian said it's putting more emphasis on wealth management and income from mutual fund sales increased by 29 per cent in the third quarter compared with a year earlier.

Meanwhile, Laurentian's B2B Bank subsidiary earned $13 million for the quarter, up from $5.2 million a year ago, and Laurentian Bank Securities and Capital Markets earned $3 million in the quarter, compared with $2.3 million in the same quarter last year.

The bank's provision for loan losses increased by $1.5 million to $10.5 million in the third quarter of 2014, up from $9 million in the third quarter of 2013.

Return on equity was 11.2 per cent in the quarter versus 8.1 per cent year-over-year.

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