* Q4 EPS C$0.87 vs C$0.81 year ago
* Direct premiums written up 5 pct
Feb 9 (Reuters) - Intact Financial Corp (IFC.TO), a Canadian home and auto insurer, posted a slightly stronger quarterly profit, helped by a rise in direct premiums written.
The Toronto-based company, which operates under banners including Grey Power and belairdirect, earned C$97.5 million ($98.02 million) or 87 Canadian cents a share, in the quarter ended Dec. 31.
That compared with a profit of C$96.7 million, or 81 Canadian cents a share, the year-ago.
Direct premiums written rose to C$1.06 billion from C$1.01 billion last year.
On an operating basis, Intact earned C$79 million, or 70 Canadian cents a share.
Analysts, who generally focus on Intact’s operating results, expected a profit of 91 Canadian cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
($1=.9947 Canadian Dollar)
Reporting by Isheeta Sanghi in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila firstname.lastname@example.org; within U.S. +1 646 223 8780; outside U.S. +91 80 4135 5800; Reuters Messaging: email@example.com