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Pat Priestner, CEO of AutoCanada, at one of the company’s dealerships in Edmonton.

The record pace of new vehicle sales in Canada is paying off for publicly traded dealer group AutoCanada Inc.

The Edmonton-based company said third-quarter profit soared 61 per cent.

The company raised its annual dividend 84 cents a share after posting profit of $11.0-million or 51 cents a share, up from $6.8-million or 34 cents a share a year earlier.

"The strong growth during the quarter can be attributed to gross profit increases in all four of our business lines – new vehicles, used vehicles, finance and insurance, and parts, service and collision repair," chief executive officer Pat Priestner said in a statement.