Profit down, credit-loss provisions up for CWB Financial in Q2

By Staff, with files from The Canadian Press | May 29, 2020 | Last updated on May 29, 2020
2 min read
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CWB Financial Group (CWB) reported its second-quarter profit fell compared with a year ago, as the economy tanked due to the steps taken to slow the Covid-19 pandemic and its provisions for credit losses more than doubled.

The Edmonton-based company says its provisions for credit losses for the quarter ended April 30 totalled $34.9 million, up from $15.2 million in the same quarter a year ago.

The increase came as CWB reported a second-quarter profit attributable to common shareholders of $51.4 million or 59 cents per diluted share, down from $62 million or 71 cents per diluted share a year ago.

On an adjusted basis, CWB says its cash earnings per share for the quarter amounted to 60 cents compared with 74 cents per share in the same quarter last year.

Analysts on average had expected an adjusted profit of 50 cents per share for the most recent quarter, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.

Chief executive Chris Fowler says the moves the company has taken over the last decade to strengthen and diversify its business have allowed it to face this crisis from a position of stability and confidence.

“The deteriorating economic and financial market conditions put pressure on our operating results, particularly on the estimated provision for credit losses on performing loans and net interest income,” Fowler said in a statement.

“While our estimated provision for credit losses on performing loans increased this quarter based on an adverse shift in macroeconomic forecasts, we continue to see the benefit from our strategic actions over many years to diversify our loan portfolio.”

In a Friday release, the bank declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.29 per common share, consistent with the previous quarter but up from a year ago.

ATB releases annual report

Edmonton-based ATB Financial reported higher revenues offset by loan-loss provisions in its annual report on Thursday, as the Crown corporation held a virtual annual meeting.

Revenues increased by 2.6% to $1.7 billion in the fiscal year that ended March 31, but net income of $101.9 million was down from $138.7 million the previous year.

This was due to higher provisions for loan losses, which increased 14.1% from a year ago to $385.9 million.

A release from ATB said Alberta was “beginning to rebuild before being hit by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, concurrent market volatility and oil price shocks” in March.

ATB president and CEO Curtis Stange said in the release that the province “is facing challenges we never could have imagined just a few months ago.”

The financial institution will continue to provide credit relief to consumers and maintain work-from-home conditions for the majority of its teams.

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Staff, with files from The Canadian Press

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