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Business segments' 'strong results' boost Scotiabank's fiscal Q1 profit

Bank of Nova Scotia reported fiscal first-quarter net income attributable to equity holders of C$2.28 billion, or C$1.86 per share, compared to C$1.95 billion, or C$1.57 per share, in the previous year.

The S&P Capital IQ consensus normalized EPS estimate was C$1.66.

The recent quarter's earnings included an accounting benefit of C$150 million, or 12 Canadian cents per share, due to a re-measurement of an employee benefit liability from certain plan modifications.

"All of our businesses delivered strong results, contributing to solid top line growth and a continued improvement in efficiency," President and CEO Brian Porter said.

Driven by asset growth, expense management benefits and improved credit performance, the Toronto-based company's Canadian banking segment recorded a 12% year over year increase in earnings to C$1.10 billion. Meanwhile, earnings of the international banking segment increased 16% to C$667 million, following solid loan and deposit growth in its Latin America region, increased contribution from associated corporations and a lower effective tax rate.

Provision for credit losses totaled C$544 million for the recent quarter, compared to C$536 million in the linked quarter and C$553 million in the year-ago quarter.

Scotiabank also increased its dividend to 82 cents per share, up 3 cents from the previous quarter's dividend. It is payable April 26 to shareholders of record April 3.