July 8, 2010 / 5:34 PM / in 8 years

UPDATE 2-Richelieu Hardware posts profit gain, announces deal

* Q2 profit C$0.53/shr vs C$0.33/shr

* Analyst EPS forecast C$0.38

* Announces four acquisitions, including Raybern Company

* Shares jump over 5 percent

(Updates with details, conference call, share price)

By Solarina Ho

TORONTO, July 8 (Reuters) - Richelieu Hardware Ltd (RCH.TO) reported a 57 percent jump in quarterly earnings on Thursday and said it was acquiring a U.S. distributor of woodworking products for an undisclosed price, sending shares up more than 5 percent.

The Canadian specialty hardware distributor will acquire Connecticut-based Raybern Company, Inc., a privately held distributor of decorative and other finishing products for the commercial woodworking industry. It did not disclose the terms.

Richelieu said the deal is expected to provide the company with an additional C$4 million ($3.8 million) in annual sales.

It also said it was acquiring three other unnamed distributors, two in Canada and one in the United States, with total sales of about C$50 million. The transactions are expected to close in August and September.

Chief Executive Richard Lord said Richelieu will make more acquisitions this year.

The company noted that earlier acquisitions helped drive a modest increase in U.S. sales despite a weaker economic climate.

Canada accounted for roughly 85 percent of total sales, Lord said.

“We continue to reap the benefits of our investments made in the last two years to increase our floor space at Canadian hardware superstores,” Lord said during a conference call.

Richelieu posted net earnings of C$11.5 million, or 53 Canadian cents a share, for the second quarter ended May 31, compared with C$7.3 million, or 33 Canadian cents, for the same period a year ago.

That topped the average analyst forecast of 38 Canadian cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue climbed 9.3 percent to C$118 million. A stronger Canadian dollar against the US dollar was one of the factors that impacted gross margin.

Shares jumped C$1.25, or 5.3 percent, to close at C$25 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

$1=$1.04 Canadian

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