* Operating earnings C$228 mln vs C$219 mln yr ago
* Operating EPS C$0.47 vs expected C$0.49
* Shares down 0.74 pct on TSX
TORONTO, May 13 (Reuters) - Power Corp of Canada POW.TO, a holding company with interests in the financial services industry, said on Friday its quarterly profit rose from a year earlier, helped by a higher contribution from a subsidiary.
Power Corp said net earnings for the first quarter ended March 31 were C$216 million ($222.7 million), or 47 Canadian cents a share. That included a charge of C$2 million, and compared with earnings of C$165 million, or 36 Canadian cents a share, a year earlier, when the company had an impairment charge of C$44 million.
Montreal-based Power Corp has a 66.1 percent stake in Power Financial Corp PWF.TO, which in turn controls insurer Great-West Lifeco GWO.TO and mutual fund company IGM Financial IGM.TO.
The holding company, controlled by Montreal’s Desmarais family, said operating earnings were C$228 million or 47 Canadian cents a share, compared with C$219 million or 46 Canadian cents a share in the first quarter of 2010.
Analysts had expected operating earnings of 49 Canadian cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Power Corp said the increase in operating earnings reflected a higher contribution from Power Financial.
On Thursday, Power Financial said its net profit rose 1.9 percent in the quarter, as a solid performance from IGM was offset by weaker earnings at Great West, which fell on claims from the massive earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand.
Power Corp shares were down 0.74 percent at C$28.09 on the Toronto Stock Exchange shortly after the results were released.
$1=$0.97 Canadian Reporting by John McCrank; editing by Rob Wilson