May 5, 2011 / 4:19 PM / in 6 years

UPDATE 2-Earthquakes rattle Great-West Lifeco results

* Q1 EPS C$0.44 versus C$0.45 year earlier

* Analysts forecast EPS of C$0.46

TORONTO, May 5 (Reuters) - Great-West Lifeco (GWO.TO), Canada’s No. 2 insurer, said on Thursday its quarterly profit slipped on charges related to the recent earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand.

The Winnipeg, Manitoba-based company earned C$415 million ($428 million), or 44 Canadian cents a share, in the first quarter ended March 31. That compared with a profit of C$428 million, or 45 Canadian cents a share, in the year-before period.

Analysts had expected, on average, a profit of 46 Canadian cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Great-West said provisions relating to the earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand hurt earnings by C$75 million or 8 Canadian cents a share.

Consolidated assets under administration were up C$8.2 billion from Dec. 31 to C$495.2 billion.

The company sells insurance and investment products under the Great-West, Canada Life, London Life and Putnam Investments banners. Holding company Power Financial (PWF.TO), which is controlled by Montreal’s Desmarais family, holds a majority stake in the company.

Insurers Manulife Financial (MFC.TO) and Sun Life Financial (SLF.TO) both reported earnings this week that were ahead of expectations.

Great-West shares were down 1.26 percent at C$26.68 on the Toronto Stock Exchange at midday, little changed from where they were before the results were released.

$1=$0.97 Canadian Reporting by John McCrank; editing by Rob Wilson

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