Higher margins, gasoline prices help Canadian Tire beat profit estimates

(Reuters) - Retailer Canadian Tire Corp Ltd CTCa.TO reported a better-than-expected third-quarter profit on Thursday, driven by higher demand for its home, kitchen and personal care products, along with a rise in gasoline prices.

FILE PHOTO - People stand in front of a large Canadian Tire Corp logo during their annual general meeting for shareholders in Toronto, May 14, 2015. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

The company, which sells products ranging from automotive spare parts to kitchen appliances, said its total comparable same-store sales in its retail unit rose 2.5 percent in the quarter, beating analysts’ average estimate of 1.6 percent.

Revenue from its petroleum business rose 15.7 percent in the quarter ended Sept. 30.

Canada's homegrown retailers have been trying to find ways to win back market share from larger rivals, including Inc AMZN.O and Walmart Inc WMT.N.

Toronto-based Canadian Tire has been focusing on expanding its online presence, increasing private label brands in its brick and mortar stores, as well as spending more on marketing.

The company has launched home delivery services and upgraded some of its stores to allow faster check-outs, which helped the company’s results in the third quarter.

Gross margins were up 53 basis points, Canadian Tire said.

Helly Hansen, the Norway-based sportswear brand that was acquired by Canadian Tire in July this year, contributed C$181.7 million ($138.68 million) in revenue, while revenue from its retail unit surged 11.4 percent to C$3.31 billion.

Net income rose to C$231.3 million, or C$3.15 per share, in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, from C$198.5 million, or C$2.59 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, Canadian Tire earned C$3.47 per share, topping analysts’ average estimate of C$2.85, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Revenue rose to C$3.63 billion from C$3.27 billion.

($1 = 1.3103 Canadian dollars)

Reporting by Debroop Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by James Emmanuel