05/23/2012 08:31 EDT | Updated 05/23/2012 08:57 EDT

Canada Bank Earnings 2Q 2012: BMO Posts 27 Per Cent Jump In Profit


TORONTO -- BMO Financial Group kicked off the Canadian banking sector's earning season Wednesday by reporting a 27 per cent increase in second-quarter profit, coming in ahead of analyst expectations.

BMO says its net income for the three months ended April 30 was up $215 million from the same time last year, rising to nearly $1.03 billion or $1.51 per share before adjustments.

After adjustments, BMO's net income was $982 million or $1.44 per share _ eight cents higher than a consensus estimate compiled by Thomson Reuters before the announcement.

BMO Capital Markets slipped marginally from the same time last year but there were significant increases at its Canadian and American personal and commercial banking operations, BMO's private client group and at corporate services.

"BMO produced strong financial results again in the second quarter,'' BMO president and CEO Bill Downe said in the bank's announcement.

"The consistent focus we have on customers and their success is underpinned by a strong, consistent brand and is grounded in the belief that a relationship bank is relevant to households and companies, as they manage their finances and improve their financial position ''

The company has more than 46,600 employees across its North American operations, which include retail banking at Bank of Montreal, wealth management and investment banking, as well as its Chicago-based Harris Bank subsidiary.

The Canadian personal and commercial banking operations accounted for nearly half of overall profit, rising 7.8 per cent or $32 million to $446 million.

The U.S. banking operations had US$122 million of net income, up from US$54 million a year earlier, before adjustments. After adjustments related to the acquisition of Marshall & Ilsley, net income was $137 million, up $78 million from a year earlier.

The private client group had $145 million in net income, up $54 million or 59 per cent from a year ago before adjustments.

BMO Capital Markets had $225 million in net income, down slightly from $229 million a year earlier.

Net income from corporate services was $91 million, an increase of $65 million from a year ago.

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