December 9, 2010 / 10:05 PM / 8 years ago

UPDATE 1-Forzani Q3 profit up, says Q4 off to strong start

* EPS C$0.48 vs C$0.37

* Revenue up 3.2 percent

TORONTO, Dec 9 (Reuters) - Forzani Group Ltd FGL.TO, Canada’s largest sporting goods retailer, posted a 20 percent rise in quarterly net earnings on Thursday, helped by stronger same-store sales and lower operating costs.

For the third quarter, ended Oct. 31, Forzani posted a profit of C$13.7 million ($13.6 million), or 47 Canadian cents a share, up from C$11.4 million, or 37 Canadian cents a share, in the year-before quarter.

Analysts had expected earnings per share of 42 Canadian cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue for the quarter rose 3.2 percent to C$393.2 million.

Forzani, which operates more than 550 retail outlets under banners such as Sport Chek, Atmosphere and National Sport, said same-store sales, or sales at stores open for at least a year, rose 1.2 percent.

The company also said that overall same-store sales during the first five weeks of the fourth quarter were up by 15.9 percent. But it warned that the momentum would slow in December and January.

Winter weather in Western Canada helped bolster sales of winter clothing and footwear, it said.

Forzani shares, which have climbed more than 10 percent this year, finished 2 percent lower at C$15.78 on Thursday on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The company released its results after the market closed.

$1=$1.01 Canadian Reporting by Solarina Ho; editing by Peter Galloway

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