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The offices of MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates in Richmond, B.C.

RICHARD LAM/Richard Lam/The Canadian Press

Space technology company MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. increased its semi-annual dividend by 30 per cent on Tuesday as it reported flat financial results in the latest quarter

The company, better known as MDA, said it would start making a semi-annual payment to shareholders of 65 cents a share, up from its earlier rate of 50 cents.

The increased dividend came as the company reported a final profit of $6.3-million or 20 cents a share for the fourth quarter, compared with $37.1-million or 90 cents a year earlier.

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However, MDA said earnings from continuing operations totalled $31.3-million or 97 cents a share for the quarter, down slightly from $31.7-million or 77 cents.

Revenue from continuing operations for the quarter amounted to $178.2-million, compared with $208.4-million.

MDA sold its property information business to a U.S. private equity firm for $850-million last year.

The business, which operated mostly in the United States and Europe, sold legal and valuation information to real estate agents, banks, home buyers and governments.

The increased dividend announced Tuesday follows a share buyback by MDA last year that saw the company spend $500-million to repurchase roughly 22.9 per cent of its outstanding shares.

MDA's main businesses include specialized data, surveillance and intelligence, communication systems and advanced technology.

Shares in the company, which reported its results after the close of markets, were down 35 cents at $44.55 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Tuesday.

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