MONTREAL — Power Corp. says its net earnings more than doubled to a record $525 million in the first quarter.
The Montreal-based holding company — whose assets include Power Financial, Sagard Investment Funds and China Asset Management Co. — beat expectations after earning $1.13 per share for the period ended March 31.
That compared with $258 million or 56 cents per share in the prior year quarter.
Excluding restructuring and other charges last year, adjusted profits were $269 million or 58 cents per share in the first quarter of 2017.
Power was expected to earn 73 cents per share in adjusted profits or 80 cents per share in net earnings, according to analysts polled by Thomson Reuters Eikon.
Ahead of its annual meeting, Power increased its quarterly dividend 6.6 per cent to 38.20 cents per share, payable June 29 to shareholders of record June 8.
Earlier this week, Montreal-based La Presse news group said it plans to adopt a not-for-profit structure, if Quebec allows it to do so.
The 130-year-old newspaper is owned by Square Victoria Communications Group, a subsidiary of Power, which plans to grant $50 million to the venture.
Under the new structure, Power Corp. would no longer own the media company or have any ties with the not-for-profit structure.
Power Corp. holds an investment in The Canadian Press as part of a joint agreement with a subsidiary of the Globe and Mail and Torstar Corp.
Companies in this story: (TSX:POW, TSX:PWF).
The Canadian Press