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Western Financial sees strong 1-Q earnings


May 15, 2005   by Canadian Underwriter


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Western Financial Group (TSX: WES) lifted net income for the first quarter of this year by 80% to $1.1 million from the $587,000 disclosed for the same period in 2004. Earnings for the latest reporting period clocked in at 4c a share, reflecting a 25% increase on the 3c a share posted for the first quarter of 2004.
The broker network and financial services group saw total revenue for the first quarter of this year rise by 37.4% to $12.3 million compared with the $8.9 million reported for the same period in 2004. The company’s broker network operation produced operating income of $1.8 million, showing a 7.6% drop on last year’s revenue of $1.9 million. The banking operation produced an operating income loss of $244,000 for the latest quarter (2004 1-Q: $254,000) while group’s latest operation, Western Life, brought in operating income of $408,000 (the life operation was not in existence in the first quarter of last year and there is no comparative performance). "Our EPS [earnings per share] has risen significantly, and we are particularly pleased with the contribution of Western Life during March, our first month of ownership," says Scott Tannas, president of Western Financial.


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