UPDATE 2-Strong winter products sales drive Canadian Tire profit

Thu Feb 13, 2014 1:33pm EST
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Feb 13 (Reuters) - Canadian Tire Corp, best known for its automotive and homeware stores, posted a better-than-expected profit for the fifth straight quarter as harsh winter weather boosted sales of shovels, snow blowers and car batteries and tires.

The company's revenue rose 5 percent in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 28 due to robust same-store sales across brands.

"It's fair to say that about half of Canadian Tire's performance is directly attributable to favorable weather," President Michael Medline said on a conference call, but he added that the good results weren't "just dumb luck."

Sales of Canadian retailers such as Dollarama Inc were hit by storms that caused power failures, store closures and disruption to travel in December.

Canadian Tire said net income attributable to the company's owners rose 15 percent to C$187.8 million ($171 million), or C$2.32 per share, in the fourth quarter ended from C$162.8 million, or C$1.99 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, the company earned C$2.35 per share, above the average analyst estimate of C$2.23 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Consolidated retail sales increased 5.5 percent to C$3.98 billion in the quarter, helped by strong demand for casual clothing, sports footwear, outdoor tools and automotive accessories.

Same-store sales at the company's Canadian Tire outlets rose 4 percent in the quarter.   Continued...