August 5, 2008 / 8:58 PM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 2-Russel Metals profit surges as prices rise

(Adds details on dividend)

TORONTO, Aug 5 (Reuters) - Russel Metals (RUS.TO) reported a near-tripling of quarterly profit on Tuesday, thanks to higher steel prices and sales of its products to the oil and gas industry.

Net income was C$79 million ($76 million), or C$1.25 a basic share, in the three months ended June 30, the producer and distributor of metal products said. On a diluted basis, per-share profit was C$1.24.

That was up from C$29 million, or 47 Canadian cents a share, in the year-before period.

Analysts had expected a profit of C$1.16 a share, before exceptional items.

Russel maintained its quarterly dividend of 45 Canadian cents a share and also announced a supplemental dividend of 5 Canadian cents per share, which it said was due to the company’s improved earnings level in the current cycle.

Revenue climbed to C$856.3 million from C$652.8 million, helped by its energy tubular products division and its metals service center division.

Cost of sales and operating expenses rose to C$734.9 million from C$603.9 million.

Russel shares, which are up 6.3 percent so far this year, fell C$1.45 to C$27.05 on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The results were released after markets closed.

$1=$1.04 Canadian Reporting by Cameron French; editing by Rob Wilson

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