UPDATE 2-Royal Bank of Canada raises dividend as profit edges higher
* Profit of C$1.47/share excluding items vs. C$1.43 estimate
* Capital markets income drives results
* Hikes dividend by 6 percent to C$0.71 a share
By Cameron French
TORONTO, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Royal Bank of Canada reported a higher quarterly profit on Wednesday and raised its dividend by 6 percent after surging capital markets income more than offset charges from a restructuring of Caribbean operations.
Canada's largest bank earned C$2.09 billion ($1.89 billion), or C$1.38 a share, in the first quarter ended Jan. 31, up from C$2.05 billion, or C$1.34 a share, a year earlier.
Excluding charges of C$60 million from the sale of Jamaican operations and C$32 million for a restructuring in the Caribbean, the bank earned C$1.47 a share, topping analysts' expectations of C$1.43.
The results build on slightly higher-than-expected profits this week by rivals Bank of Montreal and National Bank of Canada in a quarter that has shown steady growth in consumer lending volumes in spite of worries of a housing slowdown.
"(Loan) volume growth in Canada continues to do well, even though we would think the volume growth would be down," said Ian Nakamoto, director of research at MacDougall, MacDougall and MacTier. Continuación...