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Uni-Select Reports Second Quarter Results

Company sees an increase in sales and net earnings; also reports $50 million in total debt reduction.

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BOUCHERVILLE, Quebec — Uni-Select has reported sales of $475 million in the second quarter of 2011, compared to $349 million in 2010. Net earnings increased to $18.5 million in the second quarter of 2011, or 85 cents per share, compared to $14.5 million, or 74 cents per share last year.

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The increase in total sales stems primarily from the addition of FinishMaster’s operations combined with an organic growth of 1.8 percent. Sales from Canadian operations reached $149.9 million, an increase of 2 percent compared to the corresponding quarter of 2010. American operations, for their part, recorded an organic increase of 1.8 percent to attain $324.8 million.

The EBITDA margin adjusted for costs related to IT development and reorganization of the distribution network equal 7 percent in the second quarter of 2011, a slight decrease from the corresponding quarter in 2010. This variation mainly comes from the rising energy prices as well as the negative changes in the product lines sold, the company said.

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"We are pleased to report results that show strong growth," said Richard Roy, president and CEO. "The last few months have confirmed the various strategic elements associated with the FinishMaster acquisition. The synergies announced earlier this year for 2011 were realized and those planned for 2012 are already well underway. Synergies will arise from the complementarity of business models, distribution networks and additional sales opportunities. We are very confident that we can reach the expected 10 million per year synergies within three years.

"As mentioned during the last quarters, the implementation of the integrated enterprise resource planning system started in April, as planned," Roy added. "The final testing phase of two pilot warehouses is almost complete and the implementation will gradually continue throughout the year to finish at the end of 2012, in accordance with the initial schedule. The improvement of corporate stores’ performance, increase in sales and asset management are at the heart of the initiatives that we will pursue throughout 2011. Finally, total debt has been reduced by $50 million during the second quarter."

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For the first half of 2011, sales totaled $871 million, compared to $645 million for the same period of last year. Net earnings rose to $28.2 million, or $1.30 per share, compared to net earnings of $21.7 million dollars, or $1.10 per share, for the corresponding period of last year.

Total sales from the American operations reached $606 million for the first half of 2011, compared to $396 million for the same period of 2010.

For the first half of 2011, Canadian operations reached total sales of $265 million compared to $248 million for the same period of last year. Excluding the impact of the exchange rate, organic growth was close to 2 percent.

The Board of Directors of Uni-Select Inc. approved the payment on Oct. 19 of a quarterly dividend of 12 cents Canadian per common share to shareholders of record at Sept. 30. This dividend is an eligible dividend for tax purposes.

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