May 5, 2009 / 5:13 PM / 9 years ago

UPDATE 1-Uni-Select profit rises on recent acquisitions

* Q1 EPS C$0.41 vs year-earlier EPS of C$0.31

* Sales rise 29 percent to C$362.7 million

* Company says to look for more growth opportunities.

TORONTO, May 5 (Reuters) - Uni-Select Inc UNS.TO, a Canadian distributor of auto parts, equipment and tools, said on Tuesday its quarterly profit rose 32 percent, helped by earnings generated from recent acquisitions.

Net income climbed to C$8 million, or 41 Canadian cents a share, for its first quarter, from C$6.1 million, or 31 Canadian cents, a year earlier.

Four analysts had expected, on average, a profit of 43 Canadian cents before special items, according to data compiled by Reuters Estimates.

Sales at the Boucherville, Quebec-based company were up 29 percent at C$362.7 million.

Uni-Select said sales at its Automotive Group USA unit rose 55 percent to C$232.9 million, with recent acquisitions contributing C$56.1 million.

Sales at its Automotive Group Canada unit were little changed at C$117.9 million, while sales at the Heavy Duty Group fell 8.6 percent to C$11.9 million.

“During the next quarters, the results of our Canadian and U.S. operations should continue to benefit from the contribution of various acquisitions completed in recent quarters,” Richard G. Roy, president and chief executive of Uni-Select, said in a statement.

“We will continue to seek out growth opportunities in Canada and the U.S., all the while keeping a firm control on assets. This may result in the sale or closure of stores in Canadian and U.S. areas with low growth potential.”

Shares of Uni-Select were up 30 Canadian cents, or 1.08 percent, at C$28.05 on the Toronto Stock Exchange. ($1=$1.18 Canadian) (Reporting by John McCrank; Editing by Frank McGurty)

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