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Huge interest in Royal Bank's earnings

The Royal Bank (TSX:RY) says it had a record annual profit in 2012, including $1.9 billion of net earnings in the fourth quarter.

The quarterly profit amounted to $1.25 per share of net earnings, or $1.27 per share of adjusted diluted earnings.

For the full-year ended Oct. 31, RBC had $7.5 billion of net earnings.

That's up 17 per cent from 2011 and equal to $4.96 per share of net earnings or $5 per share on an adjusted basis.

The adjusted profit beat consensus estimates by a penny per share in both the quarter and the full year.

RBC president and chief executive, Gord Nixon, says the company had solid earnings from most of its businesses including Canadian banking, which contributed more than $1 billion of earnings during the quarter.

"While the financial industry is expected to face headwinds in 2013, we are confident in our ability to weather these challenges given our strong financial and competitive position," Nixon said in a statement.

The bank says it increased its provisions for credit losses in the fourth quarter to $362 million, up $86 million from last year.

It attributed the increased provisions to a single account at its RBC Capital wholesale division as well as business lending in its Canadian banking business.

Royal's fourth-quarter net income was up 22 per cent from $1.57 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011.

The 2012 annual profit was up from $6.44 billion last year, which included a $526-million loss at discontinued operations.

The Canadian Press

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