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Bank West start-up drags Western Financial income


May 27, 2003   by Canadian Underwriter


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Revenue was up for broker consolidator Western Financial Group (TSX: WES) despite a drag on earnings from the start-up of its new banking operation. Consolidated net income for the first quarter ending March 31, 2003 was $175,000, representing no earnings per share, down from $427,000, or $0.03 per share, in the first quarter 2002. This is despite revenue growth of 16% to $6.8 million for the quarter, from $5.9 million in the same period last year.
The core brokerage operations saw earnings of $1.2 million in Q1 2003 versus $985,000 in Q1 2002. Revenue was up 15% to $6.8 million from $5.9 million the year prior. Same store revenue was similarly up 14%.
Bank West, which began operations at the end of January brought in revenue of $50,000 for its first 43 days of operation, but posted an overall loss of $155,000.
The company’s first-quarter 2002 results also benefited from a one-time gain on sale of assets of $216,000.
In the coming months, the company plans a direct marketing telemarketing campaign to its insurance customers to promote Bank West’s mortgage business.


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