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BMO reports Q2 profits climb, raises quarterly dividend

BMO raises dividend

BMO Financial Group raised its dividend as it reported a second-quarter profit of $4.76 billion.

The bank said Wednesday it will now pay a quarterly dividend of $1.39 per share, up six cents from $1.33 per share.

The increased payment to shareholders came as BMO's second-quarter profit amounted to $7.13 per diluted share, up from a profit of $1.30 billion or $1.91 per diluted share a year ago.

Revenue in the quarter totalled $9.32 billion, up from $6.08 billion in the same quarter last year, while the bank's provision for credit losses amounted to $50 million compared with $60 million a year ago.

On an adjusted basis, BMO says it earned $3.23 per diluted share, up from an adjusted profit of $3.13 per diluted share a year ago.

Analysts on average had expected an adjusted profit of $3.21 per share, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.

"We continued to deliver good financial performance this quarter, driven by broad-based customer loan growth and strong credit quality in our North American P&C businesses, and solid results in our market sensitive businesses even amid more challenging conditions," BMO chief executive Darryl White said in a statement.

"With consistent and disciplined execution of our strategy, we continue to deliver on our commitment to positive operating leverage, while investing to grow our revenue and drive our digital-first agenda."

The bank said its Canadian personal and commercial banking business earned $940 million in net income, up from $777 million in the same quarter last year, while its U.S. personal and commercial banking operations earned $588 million, up from $538 million a year ago.

BMO's wealth management business earned $314 million, down from $322 million a year earlier, while BMO Capital Markets earned $448 million, compared with $558 million a year ago.

The bank's corporate services arm earned $2.47 billion in the latest quarter compared with a loss of $892 million a year ago as the bank recorded higher revenue from fair value management actions related to the announced acquisition of Bank of the West and lower expenses due to the write down of goodwill related to the sale of its EMEA asset management business a year ago.

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