Bank of Nova Scotia had $1.5 billion of net income for the fourth quarter, a 31 per cent increase over the same time last year that took Scotiabank to a record annual profit.
The report ends a strong quarterly earnings season for Canada's big banks, which all showed higher profits than many analysts anticipated.
Despite that, there has been some concern that the banks' earnings will be under pressure next year as the North American and world economy feel the effects of uncertainty in Europe and the United States.
"Scotiabank had strong overall results this year with record net income and revenues and very good contributions from each of our four business lines," Scotiabank chief executive Rick Waugh said in a statement.
"The bank is well positioned to continue to deliver growth in all business lines."
Waugh noted that Scotiabank's four main business lines will now report to Brian Porter, who was named Scotiabank's president in October — widely seen as part of the bank's planning for an orderly transition to a new executive leadership.
Scotiabank is Canada's most international bank and, as group head for international banking, Porter oversaw all of its personal, small business and commercial banking operations in more than 55 countries outside of Canada.
Scotiabank's fourth quarter profit amounted to $1.18 per share of net earnings, or $1.21 per share on an adjusted basis — three cents per share above a consensus estimate.
Revenue for the three months ended Oct. 31 was $4.86 billion, up from $4.2 billion a year earlier in the fourth quarter of 2011.
For the full year, the bank's revenue was $19.7 billion, up from $17.3 billion in 2011.
Scotiabank's total net income for the 2012 financial year ended Oct. 31 was nearly $6.5 billion — $5.22 per share of net income or $5.33 per share on an adjusted basis.
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 full year, analysts on average had expected $4.74 in adjusted earnings per share and $19.17 billion in revenue, according to Thomson Reuters.
The bank closed a deal last month to buy ING Bank of Canada from its Dutch parent company for $3.13-billion deal.
The agreement beefed up Scotiabank's domestic position.
ING Direct is expected to operate separately and maintain its 1,000 employees under the deal, however the name is expected to eventually change.
Best known for its no-fee savings accounts and paying higher interest rates than most, the company also has a $30-billion loan portfolio, mostly in residential mortgages.