The Bank of Nova Scotia reported higher profits in its fourth-quarter compared to the same quarter in 2018 in a Nov. 26, 2019 story. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Scotiabank reports $2.31B fourth-quarter profit, up from $2.27B a year ago

TORONTO — The Bank of Nova Scotia reported its fourth-quarter profit edged up compared with the same quarter last year.

The big Canadian bank said Tuesday it earned $2.31 billion for the three-month period ended Oct. 31 compared with a profit of $2.27 billion in the same quarter last year. The profit amounted to $1.73 per diluted share for the quarter, up from $1.71 a year ago.

Adjusted for acquisitions and divestitures, Scotiabank says it earned $1.82 per diluted share, up from $1.77 per diluted share last year.

The result matched the average result expected by analysts, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.

Scotiabank chief executive Brian Porter said the bank delivered improved fourth-quarter results to end a productive year for the bank.

“Strategically we set a course to become a more focused bank. As a result of this effort, we have repositioned our international footprint, improved our business mix and are now realizing the benefits of our investments in digital,” Porter said in a statement.

“Looking ahead in 2020, we are better positioned to build an even better bank, offering a superior customer experience, and delivering sustainable, long-term earnings growth for our shareholders.”

The overall increase in its fourth-quarter profit came as Scotiabank reported its Canadian banking operations earned $1.14 billion, up from nearly $1.12 billion in the same quarter last year.

Scotiabank’s international banking division earned $823 million, up from $804 million, while global banking and markets earned $405 million, down from $416 million.

Meanwhile, provisions for credit losses totalled $753 million, up $163 million or 28 per cent compared with a year ago. Scotiabank said the increase came due to higher provisions in both the retail and commercial portfolios in line with organic and acquisition-driven asset growth.

Scotiabank’s common equity tier 1 ratio, a key measure of its financial health, was 11.1 per cent at Oct. 31, the same as a year ago.

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