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Finning, the Canadian distributor for Caterpillar equipment, has announced revenues of US$1.4 billion (€1.29 billion) for the first quarter of 2017, representing a year-on-year decrease of 6%.

The company’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) was up 37% to US$131 million (€120.55 million) for the quarter.

The company said that Canada had achieved the highest profitability over the last six quarters, driven by stronger product support revenues and a reduced cost structure.

In terms of revenues, though, the company saw a decrease of 19% year-on-year in Canada, due to lower new equipment sales.

Its revenues were up 16% in South America, and 18% in the UK and Ireland, compared to the first quarter of 2016.

Scott Thomson, president and CEO of Finning International, said, “Our first quarter results provide a solid start to the year, reflecting strong execution to advance our operational priorities and the positive impact of a reduced cost base across our operations.

“While total revenues declined from last year, product support increased and profitability improved.”

He added that despite an encouraging increase in equipment backlog, the company expected new equipment markets to remain soft and competitive in the near term.

He said that given continued uncertainty in the company’s territories, it maintained its expectation that 2017 revenues would be essentially flat compared to last year.

Mr Thomson said, “Despite continued top-line pressures, each of our regions are achieving meaningful progress in working capital efficiencies, driven in large part by improvement in our equipment supply chain.

“This gives me confidence in our ability to demonstrate a significantly improved return on invested capital when demand recovers.”