August 11, 2010 / 1:37 PM / in 8 years

CORRECTED - UPDATE 1-Rona profit rises, helped by a strong early quarter

(Corrects year-earlier EPS in first bullet point to C$0.51 from C$0.55)

* Q2 EPS C$0.52 vs. C$0.51 yr ago

* Revenue up 2.1 percent

* Same-store sales up 0.9 percent

TORONTO, Aug 11 (Reuters) - Rona Inc RON.TO, Canada’s biggest home improvement chain, said on Wednesday earnings rose nearly 12 percent as a still-buoyant housing market supported sales in the early part of its latest quarter.

Net earnings rose to C$67.8 million ($65 million), or 52 Canadian cents a share, in the quarter ended June 27. That compares with profit of C$60.8 million, or 51 Canadian cents, for the same quarter a year ago.

Analysts had forecast earnings of 59 Canadian cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Total revenue rose 2.1 percent to C$1.4 billion, while same-store sales, or sales in stores opened at least a year, climbed 0.9 percent.

Rona, which operates a network of about 700 stores, said sales were strong in the early part of the quarter, but later tapered off as consumer confidence flagged, the housing market cooled and unfavorable weather hit many markets.

The Boucherville, Quebec-based company was cautious about the market outlook going into the second half of the year.

$1=$1.04 Canadian Reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by Frank McGurty

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