Canadian Tire sales up 5.1 percent

Canadian Tire, the Canadian home improvement and automotive retail chain, had second-quarter net earnings of $122.3 million, up 18.4 percent from $103.3 million last year.

Sales rose 5.1 percent, to $2.84 billion from $2.7 billion last year.

"All of our businesses contributed to our sales growth during the quarter,” said Tom Gauld, president and CEO. “Canadian Tire Retail's sales, while impacted by unseasonable weather in the month of April, strengthened significantly in May and June.”

In the quarter, Canadian Tire introduced a new store format, called the “20/20” store format. The 15 stores, located in the north- and south-shore areas of Montreal, represent the “largest single conversion of stores in the company’s history,” Canadian Tire representatives said in a statement.

Changes to the stores include an expansion of the company’s core product assortment, a new store design, new floor layout and added product categories. The goal of the stores’ redesigns is to increase retail sales by 20 percent on average, the company said.

The company noted that it expects third-quarter earnings to be relatively flat compared with 2006, due to store openings and expenses from growth initiatives, followed by a strong fourth quarter.

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