July 31, 2008 / 8:00 PM / in 10 years

UPDATE 1-Power Corp profit soars on insurance gain

TORONTO, July 31 (Reuters) - Profit at Power Corp of Canada (POW.TO) jumped 75 percent in the second quarter, largely fueled by its portion of a gain at a subsidiary.

The holding company, controlled by Montreal’s Desmarais family, said on Thursday that net income was C$695 million ($680 million), or C$1.49 a diluted share, in the three months ended June 30. That compared with C$396 million, or 84 Canadian cents a diluted share, a year earlier.

Power Corp said operating earnings were C$381 million, or 81 Canadian cents a share, down from C$394 million, or 84 Canadian cents a share.

Its 66-percent owned subsidiary, Power Financial Corp (PWF.TO), which controls insurer Great-West Lifeco (GWO.TO), also reported a jump in net income on Thursday, a day after Great-West posted stronger results that included a C$649 million gain on the April sale of its U.S. healthcare business.

Power Corp also owns Gesca Ltee, which publishes Montreal daily newspaper La Presse as well as other newspapers, magazines and books. ($1=$1.02 Canadian) (Reporting by Lynne Olver; Editing by Peter Galloway)

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