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A Canadian Tire store is seen in North Vancouver, B.C.

JONATHAN HAYWARD/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Canadian Tire Corp. Ltd. has seen second-quarter earnings climb more than 25 per cent compared with a year ago, helped by sales growth and an improvement in its financial services business.

The retailer said Thursday it earned $133.7-million or $1.63 per diluted share in the second quarter, up from $105.8-million or $1.29 per diluted share a year ago.

Revenue grew to $2.99-billion, up from $2.57-billion.

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The average analyst estimate had been for a profit of $1.52 per share and revenue of $3-billion, according to Thomson Reuters.

The results for the quarter included $22.7-million of pre-tax costs related to the closure of more than 100 underperforming sports equipment stores under several different banners as part of changes at its FGL Sports business.

Canadian Tire announced a plan in May to close the Sport Mart, Athletes World and Nevada Bob's Golf stores, while adding more than 100 new Sport Chek and Atmosphere locations over the next five years.

Retail sales at its namesake Canadian Tire stores were up one per cent while same-store sales gained 0.4 per cent in the quarter, helped by strong sales in seasonal categories and continued growth in what the company calls its living, fixing and playing categories.

At clothing retailer Mark's, retail sales increased 6.1 per cent and same-store sales increased 4.2 per cent.

FGL Sports' retail sales increased 4.2 per cent compared with a year ago as same-store sales grew 4.8 per cent on strong sales in spring footwear and clothing.

"Over all, we had a very strong quarter with solid revenue momentum and improved margin performance in the retail segment," president and chief executive Stephen Wetmore said in a statement.

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"We continue to focus on execution and are well positioned for the increasingly competitive operating environment we expect in the second half of the year."

Canadian Tire is one of Canada's leading retailers and the country's largest sporting goods retailer, with more than 1,700 retail and gasoline outlets from coast-to-coast employing some 58,000 people.

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