May 12, 2010 / 3:45 PM / in 7 years

UPDATE 1-Power Financial profit rises on insurance, funds

* Q1 net EPS C$0.52 vs C$0.24 yr-ago

* Operating EPS C$0.51 vs C$0.32 yr-ago

* Shares up 0.1 pct in Toronto

TORONTO, May 12 (Reuters) - Power Financial Corp (PWF.TO) said on Wednesday its operating profit rose in the first quarter as contributions from the company's insurance and fund subsidiaries increased.

Power Financial, a unit of Montreal's family-controlled Power Corp of Canada (POW.TO), said it had net earnings of C$389 million ($381 million), or 52 Canadian cents a share, approximately double the C$195 million, or 24 Canadian cents, in the first quarter of 2009.

Operating earnings, which reflect profits from continuing operations and give a better indication of underlying business strength, were C$381 million, or 51 Canadian cents a share, up from C$252 million, or 32 Canadian cents a share, in the same period of 2009.

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$304 million to first-quarter operating earnings, up from C$224 million a year ago. IGM contributed C$101 million, up from C$68 million in the first quarter of 2009.

Pargesa reported an operating loss in the three-month period ended March 31, 2010. The contribution from the investment at equity to Power Financial's operating earnings was a charge of C$3 million for the quarter compared with a charge of C$20 million in the corresponding period in 2009.

Shares of Power Financial were up 0.1 percent at C$29.42 in late morning trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

$1=$1.02 Canadian Reporting by Andrea Hopkins; Editing by Frank McGurty

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