Finning International increases dividend, first-quarter profit up

VANCOUVER – Heavy equipment dealer Finning International Inc. (TSX:FTT) increased its quarterly dividend Wednesday as it reported a higher first-quarter profit compared with a year ago.

The company said it will make a quarterly payment of shareholders of 15.25 cents per share, up from 14 cents due to its expectation for earnings growth.

Finning said it earned $73 million or 43 cents per share for the quarter ended March 31, which was up from $64 million or 37 cents per share a year ago.

Revenue increased to $1.58 billion, up from $1.47 billion.

“Our ability to grow revenues during heightened economic uncertainty clearly demonstrates the benefit of our broad end-market and geographic diversification, as well as our product support capabilities,” Finning president and chief executive Mike Waites said in a statement.

“As expected, slower activity in mining translated into lower order intake. However, our backlog remains solid, and high machine utilization levels are expected to continue driving strong product support revenues in 2013.”

The company said the increased revenue was helped by strong growth in South America, which more than offset lower revenues from Canada, the United Kingdom and Ireland.

New equipment sales were up two per cent due to significantly higher new equipment sales in South America, while product support revenues rose by 13 per cent with growth in Canada and South America.

Used equipment sales fell 18 per cent compared with a year ago, while rental revenues increased by two per cent.

Finning is the world’s largest Caterpillar equipment dealer with operations in Canada, South America, the United Kingdom and Ireland.