April 28, 2009 / 3:50 PM / in 9 years

UPDATE 1-Wescast quarterly loss deepens as auto sales fall

* Wescast reports first quarter loss of C$0.74 a share

* Sales fall by 47.9 percent

* Reuters Estimates Q1 loss per share view C$0.44

TORONTO, April 28 (Reuters) - Wescast Industries Inc WCSa.TO, which makes exhaust manifolds for cars and light trucks, reported a deeper quarterly loss on Tuesday, due to the significantly lower sales volumes in North America and Europe.

Wescast lost C$9.8 million ($8 million), or 74 Canadian cents a share, for the three months ended March 29. That compared with a loss of C$2.5 million, or 19 Canadian cents a share, in the same quarter last year.

Three analysts had expected, on average, a loss of 44 Canadian cents a share, according to data compiled by Reuters Estimates.

Sales dropped 47.9 percent to C$42.7 million in the first quarter, Wescast said.

The Brantford, Ontario-headquartered company said light vehicle production by the Detroit-three auto companies, Wescast’s primary customer base in North America, was down 53.8 percent from the year-before quarter. ($1=$1.22 Canadian) (Reporting by John McCrank; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson)

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