The Canadian Press

Power Financial Corp. (TSX:PWF), one of Canada’s largest financial services companies, reported Thursday a slight decline in third-quarter net earnings as the company got lower contributions from its subsidiaries and its Parjointco venture in Europe.

The Montreal company, which owns insurance giant Great West Lifeco and mutual fund companies Investor Group and Mackenzie Financial, reported earnings of $452 million or 61¢ a share, down from $457 million or 62¢ in the same quarter last year.

Premium revenues rose to $4.3 billion from $3.9 billion in the 2008 quarter, while overall revenues jumped to just under $11 billion from $4.6 billion, reflecting the increased value of the company’s investments.

Net income attributable to Great-West Lifeco’s common shareholders for the quarter ended Sept. 30 was $445 million or 47¢ a share, compared with $436 million or 49¢ in the same period in 2008.

In breaking down operations, Power Financial said:

• Winnipeg-based Great West contributed $307 million to net earnings, up slightly from $306 million last year.

• IGM Financial Group, which owns Investors Group and Mackenzie, contributed $95 million, down from $112 million last year.

• The contribution from Pargesa to Power Financial’s operating earnings was $72 million, up from $64 million in the third quarter of 2008.

For IGM Financial, net income for the quarter dropped to $167 million or 63¢ from $199 million or 75¢ a share in the same quarter of last year.

Operating earnings for Power Financial in the nine-month period were $1.1 billion, or $1.54 a share, compared with $1.54 billion or $2.10 per share in the same period last year.

“The decrease in operating earnings reflects primarily the decrease in the contribution from the corporation’s subsidiaries and Parjointco,” Power Financial said a statement.

Parjointco is a Dutch holding company in which Power Financial holds a 50% interest. Parjointco, in turn, holds a 54.1% interest in Pargesa Holding SA., a European investment company.

Pargesa holds significant positions in six large industrial companies based in Europe: Lafarge (cement and building materials), Imerys (specialty minerals), Total (oil and gas), GDF Suez (electricity and gas), Suez Environnement (water and waste management) and Pernod Ricard (wines and spirits).

The company’s board of directors also declared a quarterly dividend of 35¢ on common shares, payable Feb. 1 to shareholders of record as of Dec. 31, 2009.

Power Financial is part of the Power Corp. (TSX:POW) conglomerate controlled by the Desmarais family.

In its own earnings report, Power Corp. reported net profits for the third quarter fell to $250 million or 52¢ a share from $332 million or 70¢ in 2008.

Revenues jumped to more than $11 billion from $4.8 billion, reflecting $5.3 billion in the value of its investment income and the value of its assets.

In trading on the TSX, Power Financial shares rose 8¢ to $28.31, while Power Corp. stock rose 4¢ to $27.02.