Uni-Select inc. has reported that first-quarter sales and earnings were up strongly over 2010. The auto parts distributor reported revenues of US$397 million in the first quarter of 2011, compared to US$295 million in 2010. Net earnings increased to US$9.7 million in the first quarter of 2011 or US$0.45 per share compared to US$7.2 million or US$0.36 per share last year. Earnings for the period, adjusted for non-recurring items, namely the costs related to the acquisition of FinishMaster, a gain on disposal of a building and other less significant elements were US$11.3 million or US$0.53 per share compared to US$0.40 in 2010. The increase in sales primarily stems from the addition of FinishMaster and organic growth of 1%. If the impact of the exchange rate is excluded, sales from Canadian operations reached US$115.3 million, representing an organic increase of 1.9% compared to the same period of last year. American operations recorded an organic sales increase of 0.4% to reach US$281.4 million. The operating margin, adjusted for costs related to IT development, increased from 5.1% in the first quarter of 2010 to 5.8% for this year first quarter. The FinishMaster contribution and cost reduction programs combined with improved buying conditions offset lower margin pressure related to changes in the product mix and market conditions. “We are pleased to report a strong growth in sales. We remain enthusiastic about the potential benefit associated with FinishMaster. The management team is actively working at the integration program of the FinishMaster operations while remaining dedicated to increase the efficiency of existing Uni-Select operations. Synergies will arise from the complementarity of business models, distribution networks and clientele. As portrayed by our financial statements, the acquisition was immediately accretive. We remain confident that the annual synergies will reach US$10 million within three years” declared Mr. Richard G. Roy, president and CEO of Uni-Select. “As mentioned during the last quarters, the implementation of the enterprise resource planning system was initiated last month, on time, and will continue gradually throughout the next few months to finish by the end of 2012 keeping with our initial timeline. The improvement of stores’ performance, the optimization of sales; distribution activities and assets management are at the heart of the initiatives that we will pursue throughout 2011” added Roy. Finally, the Board of Directors of Uni-Select Inc. has approved the payment on July 20, 2011 of a quarterly dividend of $0.12 Canadian per common share to shareholders of record as of June 30, 2011. This dividend is an eligible dividend for tax purposes.