July 29, 2008 / 2:25 PM / in 9 years

UPDATE 1-Wescast reports loss as North American sales slide

TORONTO, July 29 (Reuters) - Wescast Industries Inc WCSa.TO, which makes exhaust manifolds for cars and light trucks, swung to a second-quarter loss, hurt by lower sales volumes in North America and higher raw material and electricity prices, the company said on Tuesday.

Wescast lost C$2.7 million ($2.6 million), or 20 Canadian cents a share, for the three months ended June 29. That compared with a profit of C$1.2 million, or 9 Canadian cents a share, in the same quarter last year.

Three analysts surveyed by Reuters Estimates had expected, on average, a loss of 24 Canadian cents a share.

A softening North American light vehicle market led to a drop in sales of 13.2 percent to C$87.9 million from C$101.3 million, in the year-ago 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 22.5 percent from the year-before quarter. ($1=$1.02 Canadian) (Reporting by John McCrank; editing by Janet Guttsman)

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