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Linamar Corp. President and Chief Executive Linda Hasenfratz addresses the auto parts manufacturer's annual meeting of shareholders in Guelph, approximately 75 km (46 miles) west of Toronto, May 17, 2006. Linamar last week announced a C$1.1 billion ($988 million) investment in its Canadian auto operations to take advantage of new business being won from Honda and Toyota who each recently announced major new investments in their Ontario operations. REUTERS/J.P. Moczulski

J.P. MOCZULSKI/REUTERS

Linamar Corp. , Canada's second biggest auto parts maker, reported a 26 per cent jump in quarterly earnings on Tuesday on the back of increased consumer demand in the United States and higher sales from new and expanded facilities in Europe and Mexico.

Linamar said earnings rose to $27-million, or 42 cents a share, in the three months to the end of December. That compared with earnings of $21.4-million, or 33 cents a share, in the same period a year ago.

Adjusted for unusual items, earnings came in at 43 Canadian cents a share, up from 35 cents, and ahead of analyst forecasts of 41 cents a share, according to ThomsonReuters I/B/E/S.

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Revenue jumped 21 per cent to $718-million.

Linamar chief executive officer Linda Hasenfratz said the company continued to see "great opportunities" in the marketplace that would continue to drive stronger company performance.

"I have never felt more positive about our outlook," she said in a statement.

The results came out after market close. Linamar's shares closed down 3.9 per cent at $18.40 on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The overall market index was down 1.8 per cent.

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