April 28, 2010 / 11:36 AM / 8 years ago

UPDATE 2-Jean Coutu returns to Q4 profit, boosts dividend

* EPS C$0.18 vs consensus C$0.17

* Revenue up 4.9 pct at C$637 mln

* Ups dividend 22 pct to C$0.055 (Adds background and dividend increase)

TORONTO, April 28 (Reuters) - Jean Coutu Group PJCa.TO returned to a fourth-quarter profit on Wednesday, benefiting from higher prescription drug sales, but the Canadian drug store chain narrowly missed expectations for revenue.

The company also boosted its dividend by 22 percent to 5.5 Canadian cents.

The Montreal-based company earned C$42.8 million ($42.2 million), or 18 Canadian cents a share, for the quarter that ended Feb. 27, just above the consensus of 17 Canadian cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

That compared with a loss of C$733.6 million, or C$3.11 a share, for the same period a year earlier, which included a loss on its investment in U.S. drug store chain Rite Aid (RAD.N).

Revenue jumped 4.9 percent to C$637 million, but was off the C$654.7 million expected by analysts.

Same store sales, a measure of the performance of stores open for at least a year, rose 3.8 percent, with pharmacy same store sales up 4.8 percent.

$1=$1.01 Canadian Reporting by Scott Anderson

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