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TD CEO says it will be "tougher" to meet earnings

OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) -- TD Bank chief executive Ed Clark says the slower growth of the Canadian economy will make it "tougher" for the bank to meet its earnings targets this year.

But the head of one of Canada's biggest banks says by looking to assets other than its domestic banking operations he's confident TD will continue to grow.

TD has targeted adjusted earnings per share growth of seven to 10 percent in 2013.

On Wednesday, Clark announced he plans to retire late next year and will be replaced by Bharat Masrani, the head of the bank's U.S. operations.

Clark told the audience at the bank's annual meeting on Thursday that economic advantages which once helped the Canadian economy weather the financial crisis are starting to fade. Clark says TD's U.S. presence will give it an advantage over competitors as the U.S. economy recovers.

TD didn't have a presence in the U.S. eight years ago, but now has more than 1,300 branches there compared to about 1,100 in Canada.