July 29, 2009 / 11:59 AM / in 8 years

UPDATE 1-CGI Group Q3 profit beats estimates

* Q3 EPS C$0.25/shr vs est C$0.24/shr

* Net debt down to C$15.9 mln from C$368.7 mln last year

* Contract bookings up 7 pct at C$1.06 bln

July 29 (Reuters) - Outsourcing company CGI Group Inc GIBa.TO reported a third-quarter profit that beat market estimates, helped by strong contract bookings.

CGI, Canada’s biggest computer consulting company, said it earned C$76.5 million, or 25 Canadian cents a share, compared with C$78 million, or 24 Canadian cents a share, in the year-ago quarter.

Revenue fell to C$950.4 million from C$950.5 million last year.

Analysts were expecting earnings of 24 Canadian cents a share, before special items, on revenue of C$970.8 million, according to Reuters Estimates.

“Our financial performance remains strong enabling us to reduce our net debt to C$15.9 million and to increase our participation in our share purchase program,” Chief Executive Michael Roach said in a statement.

CGI said it had access to liquidity of more than C$1.6 billion by the end of the third quarter, and said debt repayments in the first nine months of fiscal 2009 totalled C$271.2 million.

During the quarter CGI booked C$1.06 billion in new contracts, primarily in the government and healthcare as well as financial services verticals, up 7 percent from last year.

Shares of the Montreal-based company closed at C$10.20 Tuesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Isheeta Sanghi in Bangalore; Editing by Ratul Ray Chaudhuri)

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