April 30, 2008 / 1:23 PM / in 10 years

Dorel profit jumps 26 percent in first quarter

TORONTO (Reuters) - Dorel Industries Inc DIIb.TO said on Wednesday its first-quarter profit jumped nearly 26 percent, helped by strong sales at its core juvenile segment, but was uncertain how the weak U.S. economy would affect it later in the year.

Dorel, which makes children’s furnishings and recreation goods, said earnings rose to $35.1 million, or $1.05 a share, in the period ended March 31, up from a profit of $27.9 million, or 85 cents a share, in the same period last year.

Analysts had expected a profit of 85 cents a share before exceptions, according to Reuters Estimates.

The Montreal-based company, whose products range from Safety 1st children’s equipment to bicycles, said revenue increased 22 percent to $556 million.

Sales in its juvenile segment rose 20 percent to $317 million, while recreation and leisure product sales were up 55 percent at $136 million. Home furnishing revenue fell 1 percent to $102 million, reflecting a poor U.S. housing market.

“Notwithstanding this strong start, it is unclear what the balance of the year will bring due to the weak economy in the U.S. and the current increasing cost environment,” Dorel Chief Executive and President Martin Schwartz said in a release.

($1=$1.01 Canadian)

Reporting by Frank Pingue; Editing by Scott Anderson

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