UPDATE 1-CI Financial 3rd-qtr profit rises, sees strong 4th qtr

Tue Nov 6, 2012 11:57am EST
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* Net income rises as assets under management inch higher

* CEO says 4th quarter already looking strong

TORONTO Nov 6 (Reuters) - CI Financial Corp, Canada's No. 3 investment fund company, said on Tuesday its third-quarter profit edged higher and it was poised for a strong fourth quarter as assets under management grew, ending a string of disappointing quarters.

CI Financial, which is 36 percent owned by Bank of Nova Scotia, said net income rose to C$91.3 million, or C$0.32 a share, up from C$90.8 million, or C$0.32 a share, in the third quarter of 2011.

The gain was in line with a 2 percent increase in average assets under management to C$72.4 billion from a year earlier and a 1 percent increase in average assets from the previous quarter. Analysts had expected a profit of C$0.33 a share, according to ThomsonReuters I/B/E/S.

Chief Executive Stephen MacPhail said continued work to cut costs paid off in the quarter, with selling, general and administrative expenses down 1 percent from the prior quarter and 3 percent from the same quarter in 2011.

"The third-quarter results were very encouraging for CI," MacPhail said in a statement, noting that CI's assets as of Sept. 30 were 2 percent higher than the average for the quarter. "Further growth in the month of October has left CI well positioned for the fourth quarter of 2012," he said.

Shares in CI were down C$0.09 to C$23.51 in midday trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange.