National Bank of Canada reported a first-quarter profit of $881 million, down from $930 million in the first quarter of 2022, as its provisions for credit losses ticked up.
The Montreal-based bank says the profit amounted to $2.49 per diluted share for the quarter ended Jan. 31, down from a profit of $2.64 per diluted share a year earlier.
Revenue totalled $2.58 billion, up from $2.47 billion in the same quarter last year.
Provisions for credit losses in the bank’s first quarter amounted to $86 million compared with a recovery of $2 million in its first quarter of 2022.
On an adjusted basis, National Bank says it earned $2.56 per diluted share, down from an adjusted profit of $2.64 per diluted share in the same quarter last year.
Analysts on average had expected a profit of $2.37 per share, according to estimates compiled by financial markets data firm Refinitiv.
“The bank is starting the year on solid footing with robust results across all business segments and strong margin performance,” National Bank chief executive Laurent Ferreira said in statement.
”In a highly uncertain macroeconomic environment, we are maintaining a defensive positioning. Our credit portfolios continue to perform well, and we have substantial allowances for credit losses.”
National Bank said its personal and commercial banking business earned $331 million in its latest quarter, up from $300 million a year earlier as revenue growth was partly offset by higher provisions for credit losses.
The bank’s wealth management division earned $198 million in the quarter, up 16% from $170 million in the same quarter last year. First-quarter revenue in wealth management was $637 million, up 8% from $592 million in the first quarter of 2022, primarily due to higher interest income resulting from higher rates, partly offset by a decrease in mutual fund fee revenues.
Assets under management totalled $119.8 billion on Jan. 31, up 7% from $112.3 billion year over year.
National Bank’s financial markets division reported a profit of $298 million, down from $305 million a year earlier, while its U.S. specialty finance and international operations earned $147 million, down from $148 million in the same quarter last year.
The bank’s “other” category reported a loss of $93 million compared with a profit of $7 million in the first quarter of 2022.