Bloomberg News

NEW YORK - TD Waterhouse Group Inc., the online brokerage controlled by Toronto-Dominion Bank, said second-quarter operating profit plunged 80% as investors shunned online investing.

Operating profit, which excluded goodwill, fell to $16.9 million, or 4 cents a share, from $76.6 million, or 23 cents in the year-earlier period. Revenue slid 42% from the same period a year ago.

"Market conditions remained volatile in the last quarter, resulting in a continued low level of trading activity by our customers," Steve McDonald, the firm's chief executive, said in a release. "Since our revenue sources remain primarily trading and margin loans, the ensuing financial results are lower than the previous quarter."

Last month the firm said it wanted to increase revenue by $200 million by reducing costs and revamping trading commissions. TD Waterhouse said it wants to cut 500 jobs in its third fiscal quarter, which began May 1, and an additional 300 by Oct. 31 if market conditions do not improve. The firm said it had 7,418 employees at the end of April, down from 8,121 a year earlier.

The company said it expects the reductions to come from attrition and does not plan to fire employees.

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