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Precision Drilling Trust says its first-quarter profit improved 8 per cent from a year ago and oil well activity exceeded expectations.

On the other hand Precision's revenue fell to $373.1-million from $448.4-million in the first quarter of 2009 - despite the improved drilling activity - because prices were negotiated prior to the winter drilling season.

The Calgary-based income trust, which owns Canada's largest oilfield services company, said its net earnings rose to $62-million, up from $57.4-million in the first quarter of 2009.

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Precision Drilling noted, however, there was a 30 per cent improvement from the fourth-quarter ended Dec. 31 and it says U.S. activity continues to improve.

Its chief executive officer, Kevin Neveu, says Precision was the most active land driller in North America during the fourth quarter of 2009 and first quarter of 2010.

He says Precision had expected the first quarter to be much like the first three months of 2009 but activity this year increased as the first quarter progressed.

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