July 30, 2008 / 4:41 PM / 9 years ago

Great-West Lifeco profit rises after U.S. sale

TORONTO (Reuters) - Insurance and wealth-management company Great-West Lifeco (GWO.TO) said on Wednesday its second-quarter profit more than doubled due to a large gain connected to the sale of its U.S. healthcare business.

Even without the gain, Great-West’s results were ahead of expectations, and it raised its dividend by 5 percent to 30.75 Canadian cents a share.

The company’s shares were up 3.1 percent at C$29.82 on the Toronto Stock Exchange shortly after midday.

Net income in the April-June quarter was C$1.21 billion ($1.19 billion), or C$1.36 a share, the company said. That was up from C$544 million, or 61 Canadian cents a share, in the same 2007 period.

Excluding the C$649 million gain on the U.S. healthcare business, adjusted net income was C$564 million, or 63 Canadian cents a share, up 4 percent from a year earlier.

Analysts had expected the Winnipeg, Manitoba-based company to produce a profit of 61 Canadian cents a share, according to Reuters Estimates.

Great-West has various insurance and asset-management companies in Canada, the United States, Europe and Asia.

In its Canadian business, net income rose 7 percent to C$275 million.

Assets under management at Putnam Investments Trust, the U.S. money manager that Great-West acquired last year, rose to $169.8 billion at the end of June from $168.4 billion at the end of March.

Great-West is controlled by Power Financial Corp (PWF.TO), a Montreal-based financial holding company.

($1=$1.02 Canadian)

Reporting by Lynne Olver; editing by Rob Wilson

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