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The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Richelieu Hardware posts higher annual profit, sales in fiscal 2013

MONTREAL - Richelieu Hardware Ltd. (TSX:RCH) says growth in its U.S. sales last year helped offset weakness in Canada, enabling it to improve its overall profit slightly.

The company, which is a supplier to manufacturers and home improvement retailers, ended its financial year in November with a fourth-quarter profit of $13.3 million, up 5.1 per cent from a year earlier.

The profit for the three months ended Nov. 30 amounted to 64 cents per share on a diluted basis, up from 60 cents in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012.

Fourth quarter revenue was $155.3 million overall, up 6.5 per cent from a year earlier, with gains in both Richelieu's Canadian and U.S. operations.

Canadian sales in the quarter, which followed a weak summer period, were $115.9 million, up from $114.6 million in the comparable period of 2012. U.S. sales grew more quickly, rising about 20 per cent to US$37.9 million from US$31.6 million a year earlier.

For the full 2013 financial year, Richelieu earned $46.4 million or $2.22 per diluted share, up from $45.9 million or $2.15 a year earlier. Sales were $586.8 million, up from $565.8 million in 2012.

Canadian sales totalled $439.9 million, down from $445.2 million in the 2012 financial year, a decline the company attributed to a sustained market slowdown and a summer strike in the Quebec construction industry.

However, Richelieu's U.S. sales grew to US$143.3 million, up by US$22.9 million or 19.0 per cent over 2012.

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