* Q1 diluted EPS C$0.12, vs year ago C$0.26
* Analysts had expected EPS C$0.13 before items
* Revenue down 25 pct to C$1 billion
TORONTO, May 13 (Reuters) - Finning International (FTT.TO), the world’s largest Caterpillar (CAT.N) equipment dealer, said on Thursday its quarterly profit fell 55 percent as market weakness in Canada and Britain outweighed strength in its South American operations.
The Vancouver-based company said net income fell to C$20 million ($19.6 million), or 12 Canadian cents a share, from C$45 million, or 26 Canadian cents, in the first quarter of 2009.
Revenue for the quarter fell 25 percent to C$1 billion as new equipment sales fall 45 percent due to soft market conditions outside of the mining sector.
Used equipment sales and rental revenues decreased by 23 percent and 19 percent respectively.
The company said the stronger Canadian dollar also hurt results.
Analysts, on average, had expected a profit of 13 Canadian cents a share, before items, on revenue of C$1.1 billion according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Finning said its order backlog increased by 60 percent from the fourth quarter of 2009 to C$900 million, primarily driven by mining equipment orders.
The company, which operates in Western Canada, South America and Britain, reported its results after markets closed.
Its shares ended the day down 32 Canadian cents at C$19.19 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
$1=$1.02 Canadian Reporting by John McCrank; editing by Peter Galloway