Auto parts distributor Uni-Select Inc. is raising its quarterly dividend 8.3 per cent after reporting an increase in both fourth-quarter profit and revenue.
The Montreal-area company, which operates throughout Canada and the United States, said Thursday that its board has approved a one-cent increase in the dividend to 13 cents, payable April 20 to shareholders of record on March 20.
Uni-Select reported fourth-quarter net earnings rose to $11.7-million, or 54 cents per share, from $10.2-million, or 52 cents, in the same period last year.
Sales revenue soared to $436.7-million from $305.4-million in the 2010 quarter.
"The increase in total sales stems primarily from the addition of FinishMaster's operations and the acquisition of the activities of Parts Depot in the last quarter combined with organic growth of 3.4 per cent," the company said in its earnings release.
Canadian operations, with sales of $123.5 million, recorded organic growth of 1.6 per cent in the fourth quarter while U.S. operations recorded organic sales growth of 4.2 per cent to reach $313.2 million.
"We are proud to record improved sales and net earnings for the eighth quarter in a row," president and chief executive officer Richard Roy said in a release.
"Growth has come from an increase in organic sales and a contribution of recently acquired businesses," Mr. Roy said, adding that the FinishMaster acquisition had largely contributed to the improvement in quarterly results while the assets of Parts Depot also helped.
Uni-Select Inc. is a distributor of replacement parts, equipment, tools and accessories for motor vehicles in North America operating in two divisions.
The independent merchants and major accounts division supplies automotive parts and accessories through its 64 distribution centres. The stores division offers installers and consumers the same products through its 424 stores, while the company also has a network of independent automotive parts wholesalers, with nearly 2,500 clients.
The Canadian Press