National Bank second quarter profit up from year ago, raises dividend

MONTREAL _ National Bank of Canada raised its quarterly dividend as it reported its second-quarter profit improved more than 10 per cent compared with a year ago and beat expectations.

The bank says it will now pay a quarterly dividend of 62 cents per share, up from the previous rate of 60 cents.

National Bank earned $547 million or $1.44 per diluted share for the quarter ended April 30, up from $484 million or $1.28 per diluted share in the same quarter last year.

On an adjusted basis, the bank says it earned $1.45 per diluted share for the quarter, up from $1.30 per share a year go.

Analysts on average had expected a profit of $1.39 per share, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon.

National Bank chief executive Louis Vachon says both business growth and improved efficiency were major contributors to the performance.