March 3, 2011 / 11:55 AM / 7 years ago

UPDATE 2-TD Bank profit rises 18.5 pct, boosts dividend

* Q1 ADJ EPS C$1.74 vs est C$1.55

* Canadian, U.S. retail bank results jump

* Investment bank profits weaker

* Bank raises dividend by 8.2 pct (Adds details)

TORONTO, March 3 (Reuters) - Toronto-Dominion Bank TD.TO TD.N said on Thursday it first-quarter profit rose a better-than-expected 18.5 percent due to personal and commercial loan growth, and the lender raised its dividend for the first time since 2008.

TD, Canada’s second-biggest bank, earned C$1.54 billion ($1.59 billion), or C$1.69 a share, in the quarter that ended Jan. 31. That compared with a profit of C$1.30 billion, or C$1.44 a share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the bank earned C$1.74 a share. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S had expected, on average, a profit of C$1.55 a share.

TD raised its quarterly payout to 66 Canadian cents a share from 61 Canadian cents a share. Canada’s banks put dividend increases on hold during the financial crisis, but were given the all-clear by regulators to resume such moves last autumn.

TD is the first of Canada’s five biggest banks to raise its payout in the wake of the crisis.

Canadian personal and commercial banking income jumped 26 percent to C$905 million, following the trend of other Canadian banks who have already reported, boosted by strong personal and business loans, mortgages and insurance.

TD’s U.S. retail bank, which covers much of the U.S. East Coast and boast more branches than the bank’s Canadian franchise, earned US$319 million, up 85 percent on the year.

The lone weak spot was wholesale banking, which saw income fall 36 percent to C$237 million. ($1=$0.97 Canadian) (Reporting by Cameron French, editing by Maureen Bavdek)

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