Canadian auto parts maker Linamar's cost controls help post smaller loss

(Reuters) - Linamar Corp LNR.TO on Thursday posted a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss, as the Canadian auto parts maker kept a tight lid on costs to weather the demand fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company, which supplies to General Motors GM.N, also pointed to a strengthening return in volumes as automotive production in North America and Europe restarted in May.

“We are through the toughest part and now laser-focused on restarting... and recovering,” Chief Executive Linda Hasenfratz said.

Still, a resurgence in new coronavirus cases in southern and southwestern U.S. states has cast a shadow over the prospect of a quick recovery in the automotive market.

Sales in the company’s industrial unit fell 56.7% to C$259.2 million in the second quarter ended June 30, while they dropped 55.3% in its transportation division due to shutdowns during the pandemic.

Total sales plunged 55.7% to C$923.6 million.

The company’s net loss was C$37.9 million ($28.50 million), or 58 Canadian cents per share, compared to a net profit of C$150.2 million, or C$2.28 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company posted a loss of 34 Canadian cents per share, compared with analysts’ average estimates of a loss of 80 Canadian cents.

The company said it cut capital expenditure by 81% to C$24.0 million in the second quarter and had C$1.1 billion in cash and cash equivalents and available credit at the end of June 30.

Reporting by Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Shailesh Kuber