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The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Driveline maker Linamar rides record revenues to a big increase in Q1 profit

GUELPH, Ont. - Linamar Corp. (TSX:LNR) says net earnings increased sharply in the first quarter as revenue soared to more than $1 billion, a 23.2 per cent increase over the comparable period in 2013.

The Ontario-based maker of driveline components for passenger vehicles and on- and off-road industrial vehicles reported after markets closed Wednesday that net earnings rose to $79.7 million or $1.23 per share from $48.4 million or 75 cents in the year-earlier period.

Revenue was a record $1.04 billion in the three months ended March 31, up from $846.6 million.

"What a terrific quarter for us at Linamar with sales exceeding that $1-billion mark and another exceptional level of margin improvement," CEO Linda Hasenfratz said in the company's earnings release.

"We continue to deliver double-digit growth top and bottom line, excellent return on equity for our shareholders and enjoyed significant growth in content per vehicle in every region," Hasenfratz said, adding that the market is "opportunistic for continued growth. . . ."

Linamar said its powertrain/driveline and industrial segments both delivered strong growth in the quarter, with the powertrain segment up $153.2 million or 21.6 per cent compared with the 2013 quarter. The industrial segment's product sales increased 31.2 per cent or $42.9 million to $180.4 million.

On the Toronto Stock Exchange, Linamar shares closed down $1.33, or 2.47 per cent, at $52.59 on Wednesday.

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