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National Bank reports Q4 profit up from year ago, raises quarterly dividend

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MONTREAL — National Bank of Canada reported its fourth-quarter profit rose compared with a year ago and raised its dividend.

The bank said Friday it will now make a quarterly payment to shareholders of $1.06 per share, up from $1.02.

National Bank says it earned $768 million or $2.14 per diluted share for the quarter ended Oct. 31, up from $738 million or $2.08 per diluted share a year earlier.

Revenue totalled $2.59 billion for the quarter, up from $2.33 billion in the same quarter last year.

National Bank’s provision for credit losses amounted to $115 million, up from $87 million in the fourth quarter of 2022.

On an adjusted basis, National Bank says it earned $2.44 per diluted share, up from an adjusted profit of $2.08 per diluted share in the same quarter last year.

“As we enter 2024, we remain committed to our prudent and disciplined approach to capital, credit and cost management,” National Bank chief executive Laurent Ferreira said in a statement.

“Our defensive posture, coupled with the earnings power of our diversified business mix, positions us well to create sustainable long-term value for our stakeholders in an environment where the outlook for economic growth remains challenging.”

National Bank said its personal and commercial banking business earned $288 million in its latest quarter, down from $335 million a year earlier, due to higher non-interest expenses and higher provisions for credit losses.

The bank’s wealth management business earned $155 million, down from $193 million in the same quarter last year.

National Bank’s financial markets business earned $284 million, up from $203 million in the fourth quarter of 2022, while its U.S. specialty finance and international business earned $145 million, up from $132 million a year earlier.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 1, 2023.

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