March 11, 2009 / 4:37 PM / 9 years ago

UPDATE 1-Power Financial swings to loss on big charges

* Q4 loss C$1.12/share vs year-earlier profit C$0.72

* Charges at subsidiaries blamed for loss

* Power Financial shares up 2 percent in Toronto

TORONTO, March 11 (Reuters) - Power Financial Corp (PWF.TO), which controls several insurance and mutual fund companies, reported a quarterly loss on Wednesday due to big charges at its operating subsidiaries.

Power Financial, a unit of Power Corp of Canada, said it had a net loss of C$773 million ($604 million), or C$1.12 a share, for the three months ended Dec. 31. That is down from a profit of C$532 million, or 72 Canadian cents a share, in the year-before period.

Power Financial said it took charges of C$1.207 billion, or C$1.71 per share, in the quarter, compared with charges of C$32 million in the same period in 2007.

The company said operating earnings for the quarter were C$434 million, or 59 Canadian cents a share, down from C$500 million, or 68 Canadian cents a share, in the same period of 2007.

Analysts had expected earnings of 60 Canadian cents a share before one-time items, according to Reuters Estimates.

Montreal-based Power Financial controls Great-West Lifeco (GWO.TO), Canada’s second-largest life insurance company, and IGM Financial (IGM.TO), the country’s largest nonbank mutual fund manager. Both reported lower profits last month.

Shares of Power Financial were up 36 Canadian cents, or 2 percent, at C$17.23 shortly after midday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

$1=$1.28 Canadian Reporting by Frank Pingue; Editing by Peter Galloway

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