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RBC hikes payout, posts $2.2-billion profit

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Royal Bank of Canada (RY-T), the country’s largest bank, says it earned $2.2 billion in the third quarter, its highest quarterly profit ever, and is raising its dividend by 5 percent to 60 cents per share.

The profit, which is $946 million higher than in the same period a year ago, comes largely from its core Canadian consumer lending operations.

The bank also announced that David Denison, who recently retired from his position as CEO of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, will be joining its board of directors.

RBC’s quarterly results include a number of one-time items, such as tax adjustments, which collectively bolstered its earnings by $262 million. But even after factoring those out, its profit appear to be significantly above analysts’ forecasts.

Roughly half of the bank’s profit stems from its bread-and-butter Canadian banking businesses. It said that consumers are still taking out more mortgages and other loans, and it saw credit card transaction volumes increase from the prior quarter. The bank has also been working to contain its costs, as low interest rates put pressure on the profit margins from lending.

RBC’s wealth management operations saw profits fall from a year ago, while its international banking operations posted a loss. But the company made more money this quarter, $179 million, from insurance sales.

After Canadian banking the biggest contributor to its profits was its capital markets division, which had earnings of $486 million, up by $227 million from a year ago, due in large part to higher fixed-income trading revenue.

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