MONTREAL, March 19, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - During Laurentian Bank's Annual Meeting of Shareholders held today at the Montréal Science Centre, the organization's senior management presented an overview of results for the fiscal year ended October 31, 2012. The executives also summarized the principal elements of the Bank's strategy aimed at supporting business growth over the years to come. "Today, Laurentian Bank is well capitalized, and its activities are very diversified in terms of both market segments and geographical reach. We now rank among the Top 40 banks in North America," underlined Bank President and CEO, Réjean Robitaille. "Thus, we are on a very solid financial footing, and we are operating in accordance with a clear, highly targeted strategy that has certainly proven itself. We are in an excellent position to successfully pursue our growth." A Fiscal Year Marked by Growth All of its business sectors participated actively again in 2012, in the diversification of the Bank's revenues and profitability. The Retail and SME-Québec sector continued to successfully deploy its proximity approach, with its passion for delivering excellent client service being clearly recognized and appreciated. In fact, according to satisfaction surveys conducted within the Bank's branch network, 95% of clients indicated that they are "satisfied" or "very satisfied" with the quality of service received. In the Real Estate and Commercial sector, the loan portfolio is now valued at more than $3 billion. This business segment favours a strategy of specialization in certain market segments for certain types of financing products where and with which it holds a competitive advantage. For its part, Laurentian Bank Securities extended its services to Winnipeg in 2012 so as to accelerate the development of business in that part of the country. Finally, B2B Bank made two major acquisitions — MRS Companies and AGF Trust. In the wake of these acquisitions, B2B's loans and bankers' acceptances grew by 61% to reach $9 billion, and its deposits by 37% to now total $13 billion. B2B Bank's assets under management also grew markedly, from $3 billion to close to $24 billion. A Positive Balance Sheet Over the Past Five Years Over the course of the past five years, Laurentian Bank almost doubled its assets, which increased from $18 billion to close to $35 billion due primarily to the internal growth of its operations. In fact, all key performance indicators have shown a net upward trend since 2008, net earnings climbing by 37% between 2008 and 2012. The Bank also posted significant growth with respect to its loan and deposit portfolios, which increased by 86% and 57% respectively over the same period. Showing total confidence in its means and future, Laurentian Bank is the only Canadian bank to have increased its quarterly dividend each year since 2007. The Bank's shareholders have benefited from a dividend increase of 59% over the last five years.