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Heavy equipment dealer Toromont Industries reported Wednesday that it earned higher revenue but lower profits in the first quarter.


Heavy equipment dealer Toromont Industries Ltd. reported first-quarter revenue of $281.5-million, up 8 per cent from $261.1-million a year ago on higher equipment sales, product support and rentals.

The Toronto-based company said Wednesday it earned $17.2-million or 22 cents per share for the quarter ended March 31, down from a profit of $21.6-million or 28 cents per share in the first three months of last year.

The 2011 results included $7.8-million from the company's natural gas compression business that it spun off last year as Enerflex Ltd.

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President and CEO Scott Medhurst was pleased by the results.

"Bookings in the quarter were strong, up 45 per cent from a year ago, with healthy increases in both the construction and resources sectors," Mr. Medhurst said in a statement.

The Caterpillar dealership reported record first-quarter revenues for its equipment group – $246-million, up 11 per cent year-over-year. It also said operating income set a first-quarter record, up 22 per cent over the same period last year on higher revenues and margins.

Toromont's CIMCO unit — which designs, engineers, makes and installs industrial and recreational refrigeration systems — posted revenues of $36 million, down 12 per cent from one year ago.

Toromont said the decline was expected given the end of the federal government's infrastructure stimulus program, which contributed to the 2011 results.

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