March 11, 2010 / 4:31 PM / in 8 years

UPDATE 1-Power Financial Q4 operating profit falls

* Q4 net EPS C$0.45 vs loss C$1.12 year-ago

* Operating EPS C$0.51 vs C$0.59 year-ago

* Shares up 0.3 pct in Toronto

TORONTO, March 11 (Reuters) - Power Financial Corp (PWF.TO) said on Thursday its operating profit fell in the fourth quarter as subsidiaries contributed less to earnings.

Power Financial, a unit of Montreal’s family-controlled Power Corp of Canada (POW.TO), said it had net earnings of C$340 million ($330 million), or 45 Canadian cents a share, up from a loss of C$773 million, or C$1.12 a share, in the fourth quarter of 2008.

The results included a charge of C$44 million or 6 Canadian cents a share, in the fourth quarter of 2009 and a charge of C$1.2 billion, or C$1.71 per share, in the same period in 2008.

Operating earnings, which reflect profits from continuing operations and give a better indication of underlying business strength, were C$384 million, or 51 Canadian cents a share, down from C$434 million or 59 Canadian cents a share in the same period in 2008.

Analysts on average had expected a profit of 52 Canadian cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Power Financial controls insurance company Great West Lifeco (GWO.TO) and mutual fund company IGM Financial (IGM.TO). It also has a 50 percent stake in Parjointco NV, which in turn has a 54.1 percent interest in Swiss-based Pargesa Holding SA (PARG.S).

Power Financial said Great-West contributed C$305 million to fourth-quarter operating earnings, down from C$368 million a year ago. IGM contributed C$99 million, up from C$77 million in the fourth quarter of 2008.

Pargesa Holding contributed C$1 million to operating earnings, half of the C$2 million it contributed in the final quarter of 2008.

Shares of Power Financial were up 0.3 percent at C$32.33 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Thursday morning.

$1=$1.03 Canadian Reporting by Andrea Hopkins; editing by Rob Wilson

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