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The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

ShawCor raises dividend by 20 per cent, reports lower Q1 profits

TORONTO - ShawCor Ltd. says its profits in the first quarter fell by 13 per cent as the company recorded a greater loss from investments in joint ventures, along with higher finance costs and income tax expenses.

However, the Toronto-based energy services company also announced a 2.5 cent increase to its quarterly dividend to 15 cents per share.

ShawCor earned a first-quarter profit of $61.9 million, or $1.03 per diluted share, compared with $79.6 million, or $1.01 per diluted share in the same period a year earlier.

Revenue came in at $479 million for the three-month period ended March 31, versus $454.7 million year-over-year.

In its outlook, ShawCor said expects its earnings and revenue to fall in the second half of the year as it finishes a $400-million pipeline project, the largest ever in the company's history.

To offset the end of the contract, it plans on bidding on several large projects as well as acquisitions in the pipeline services and composite pipe businesses.

"With the current backlog of $642 million and the value of outstanding bids exceeding $800 million, the company has excellent prospects for revenue and earnings growth in 2015 and beyond," said chief executive Bill Buckley, who was set to retire Thursday at the company's annual meeting.

While Buckley is expected to remain a director, ShawCor president Steve Orr has been named the company's next chief executive.

ShawCor, which started out as a pipe-coating business, now has over 75 manufacturing and service facilities around the world.

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