March 8, 2017 / 9:54 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 2-Linamar profit beats estimates on Montupet buy

(Adds CEO comment, paragraph 4)

March 8 (Reuters) - Canadian auto parts maker Linamar Corp on Wednesday reported a 21.8 percent increase in quarterly profit, helped in part by the acquisition of France’s Montupet SA last year.

Linamar Corp bought Montupet in 2016 for 771 million euros ($915 million) to boost exposure to manufacturers like Volkswagen AG and Peugeot SA.

The deal gave Linamar access to Montupet’s complex aluminium castings technology.

The company expects topline growth in the mid-to-high single digits in 2017, Chief Executive Officer Linda Hasenfratz told analysts on a conference call.

Net earnings rose to C$116.1 million ($86.07 million), or C$1.76 per share, in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, from C$95.3 million, or C$1.45 per share, a year earlier.

Analysts on average had expected earnings of C$1.66 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company also raised its dividend for the fourth quarter to 12 Canadian cents per share, from 10 Canadian cents.

Sales rose 10.6 percent to C$1.37 billion in the quarter, missing estimates of C$1.41 billion.

$1 = 1.3489 Canadian dollars Reporting By Allison Lampert in Montreal and Vishaka George in Bengaluru; Editing by Matthew Lewis

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