Bank of Nova Scotia earned $1.5 billion in its fourth quarter, a nearly one-third increase from the same period last year and capping a record annual profit for the bank in 2012.
Scotiabank was the last of Canada's big banks to release its financial results for a quarter that saw increased profits across the board for the year.
Despite the improvement in 2012, however, bank earnings are expected to be under pressure next year as the growth in retail banking, a key strength over the past several years, is expected to slow amid record debt levels and cooling housing market.
Combined, the six big Canadian banks - Royal Bank, TD Bank, Scotiabank, CIBC, Bank of Montreal and National Bank - earned about $30 billion for 2012 on about $107 billion in revenue.
The results topped the $25 billion on $98 billion in revenue in 2011.
Scotiabank's fourth-quarter profit amounted to $1.18 per diluted share on $4.86 billion in total revenue, up from a profit of $1.2 billion or 97 cents per share on $4.23 billion in revenue a year ago.
On an adjusted basis, the bank reported a profit of $1.21 per share, up from $1 per share in the same quarter last year.
The average analyst expectation was for $1.18 in adjusted earnings per share and revenue of $4.79 billion, according to estimates compiled by Thomson Reuters.
For the 2012 financial year ended Oct. 31, the bank earned nearly $6.5 billion or $5.22 per share, up from $5.33 billion or $4.53 per share the previous year. Revenue was $19.7 billion, up from $17.3 billion in 2011.
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