April 23, 2008 / 6:23 PM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 1-Toromont profit rises 16 pct in first quarter

(Adds details, stock price)

TORONTO, April 23 (Reuters) - Canadian industrial equipment supplier Toromont Industries (TIH.TO) said on Wednesday its earnings rose 16 percent in the first quarter despite taking a hit from Canadian dollar appreciation.

The company said it earned C$16.5 million ($16.2 million), or 25 Canadian cents a share, in the three months ended March 31, compared with C$14.3 million, or 22 Canadian cents a share, in the same period the year before.

The company’s earnings, which included a gain realized on the sale of investments, were right on what analysts, on average, had been expecting, according to Reuters Estimates.

Toromont, which supplies Caterpillar (CAT.N) heavy equipment and specialty equipment, said revenue was C$400.6 million, up 3 percent from the year-before quarter.

The Concord, Ontario-based company said the higher revenues came despite a stronger Canadian dollar, which was up 17 percent from the same quarter last year, and which reduced reported revenues by about 10 percentage points, or C$47 million.

Revenues from the company’s compression group rose 23 percent on increases in U.S. natural gas compression and North American industrial refrigeration. That more than offset a 12 percent decline in revenues from its equipment group.

Toromont said it sold certain marketable securities in the quarter, realizing C$2.4 million in gains, or 3 cents a share after tax. It said it sold its remaining marketable securities after March 31, realizing an additional C$5.8 million, or 7 cents per share after tax to be reported in the second quarter.

The thinly traded shares of Toromont were up 12 Canadian cents, or 0.4 percent, at C$31.32 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Wednesday afternoon.

$1=$1.02 Canadian Reporting by John McCrank; Editing by Peter Galloway

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