UPDATE 2-Dollarama shares hit record high after results, dividend hike

Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:30pm EDT
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(Updates to include conference call details, market reaction)

By Solarina Ho

TORONTO, April 12 (Reuters) - Shares of Dollarama Inc hit a record high on Friday after the Canadian dollar-store operator reported a stronger-than-expected jump in profit and sales and raised its dividend by 27 percent.

Dollarama shares jumped 5.2 percent to C$67.97 on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Earlier, the stock touched a record C$68.64.

The retailer's board approved an increase in the quarterly dividend to C$0.14 per share from C$0.11.

Helped by the sale of more items priced above C$1.00, net income increased to C$77.1 million ($76.3 million), or C$1.04 a share, in the fiscal fourth quarter, ended Feb. 3, from C$63.6 million, or 84 Canadian cents, a year earlier.

Sales climbed 20 percent to C$561.9 million, with products priced at more than C$1.00 making up 56 percent of sales. The quarter included 14 weeks, compared with 13 a year earlier. The 14th week accounted for C$32.1 million in sales.

Analysts had expected earnings of C$1.02 a share on sales of C$546.3 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Dollarama operates 785 stores across Canada, including 24 opened during the fourth quarter. It said same-store sales rose 4.6 percent in the quarter despite poor weather in December and January. Customers spent more during each visit, while the number or transactions held steady.   Continued...