UPDATE 2-TD Bank Q1 profit rises on wholesale unit; boosts dividend

Thu Feb 27, 2014 8:54am EST
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* Ex-items EPS C$1.06 vs expectations of C$1.04

* Wholesale banking income jumps on trading

* Dividend to rise 9 pct, but could be last increase this year

By Cameron French

TORONTO, Feb 27 (Reuters) - Toronto-Dominion Bank said on Thursday its first-quarter profit rose 15 percent on the back of stronger wholesale banking and U.S. retail banking income, and the lender boosted its dividend by a robust 9 percent.

However, the bank's chief financial officer told Reuters the dividend increase might be the only one for TD in 2014, which would break its past cycle of one increase every second quarter.

Canada's second largest earned C$2.04 billion ($1.84 billion), or C$1.07 a share, in the fiscal quarter ended Jan. 31, up from a year-earlier profit of C$1.78 billion, or 93 Canadian cents.

Excluding items, TD Bank, which operates a 1,300-branch network on the U.S. East Coast in addition to its Canadian retail bank, earned C$1.06 per share. That was ahead of analysts' expectations of a profit of C$1.04 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Wholesale banking income, which includes trading, investment banking, and advisory fees, leapt 44 percent to C$230 million, leading the overall profit gain.   Continued...