May 9, 2008 / 12:59 PM / 10 years ago

GMP Capital first-quarter profit drops 53 pct

TORONTO, May 9 (Reuters) - GMP Capital Trust GMP_u.TO reported a 53-percent drop in first-quarter profit compared to a year-ago figure that was inflated by gains on share sales, the independent investment dealer said on Friday.

The global market downturn also crimped results in the latest quarter.

Net income fell to C$21.0 million ($20.8 million), or 33 Canadian cents a unit, in the three months ended March 31, from C$44.5 million, or 70 Canadian cents a unit, a year ago.

Quarterly revenue fell 18 percent to C$94.1 million.

Excluding the impact of year-ago gains on the sale of the shares of Montreal Exchange Inc, revenues were down 8 percent, while income was off 36 percent.

Despite the rocky market conditions, GMP reported a return on equity of 29 percent. Expenses grew 9 percent to C$72.1 million, with one-off costs related to the start-up of GMP Europe and GMP Investment Management. ($1 = $1.01 Canadian) (Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Janet Guttsman)

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