March 5, 2008 / 9:53 PM / 9 years ago

UPDATE 1-Linamar profit slips, but beats expectations

(Adds details, stock price)

TORONTO, March 5 (Reuters) - Linamar Corp (LNR.TO) reported a lower fourth-quarter profit on Wednesday, as sales were impacted by the strong Canadian dollar, but the autoparts maker still managed to beat market expectations.

The company, which makes precision automotive components for engines and transmissions, earned C$25 million ($25.4 million), or 36 Canadian cents a share, for the three months ended Dec. 31.

That compares with a profit of C$35.7 million, or 38 Canadian cents a share, a year earlier.

Analysts had expected a profit of 35 Canadian cents a share before special items, according to Reuters Estimates.

Linamar, based in Guelph, Ontario, said sales fell 2.8 percent to C$528.2 million from C$543.6 million.

For the year, sales rose to C$2.31 billion compared to C$2.26 billion for the same period in 2006.

The company said the stronger Canadian dollar versus the U.S. dollar hurt its bottom line in its industrial and powertrain/driveline segments.

Selling, general and administrative expenses rose to C$27.8 million from C$25.9 million.

Linamar shares were flat at C$14.30 on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The results were released after markets closed. ($1=$0.99 Canadian) (Reporting by John McCrank; Editing by Renato Andrade)

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