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AGF forecasts soft 2011 as Q4 profit falls

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AGF Management Ltd.'s (AGF.B-T) quarterly profit fell nearly a third, missing estimates, partly on higher expenses, and the Canadian asset manager warned a subdued housing market could temper growth.

With high levels of household debt challenges remain in the United States and parts of the European economy, the company said in a statement.

Groundbreaking on new U.S. home construction fell more than expected in December to its lowest in over a year, suggesting the battered housing sector remains a major roadblock to economic recovery.

AGF Management, which agreed in November to buy Acuity Funds Ltd. for $325 million, earned $31 million, or 34 cents a share, in the September-November period.

That compared with a year-ago profit of $45.5 million, or 50 cents a share.

Revenue at the company, with a market value of $1.68 billion, fell 1.1 percent to $155.9 million, while total expenses rose 4.3 percent to $89.8 million.

Analysts on average had expected a profit of 35 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters.

Total assets under management fell 3.6 percent to approximately $44 billion.

Revenue at AGF's investment management operations was flat at $132.4 million, while revenue at its trust company operations fell 3.4 percent to $22.8 million.

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