Sales and earnings growth at Richelieu in the first quarter of 2010


    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -   Consolidated sales totalled $95.2 million, an increase of 3.5%.

    -   Net earnings grew by 61% to $7.0 million.

    -   Earnings per share rose to $0.32 per share, up by 60%.

    -   Earnings per share from continuing operations increased by 45% to
        $0.29.

    -   Acquisition of Woodland Specialties (Syracuse, New York State) and
        opening of a distribution centre in Raleigh, North Carolina.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
</pre>
<p/>
<p>TSX: RCH</p>
<p/>
<p><span class="xn-location">MONTREAL</span>, <span class="xn-chron">March 25</span> /CNW Telbec/ - Richelieu started 2010 strongly, recording very satisfactory growth for its first quarter ended <span class="xn-chron">February 28</span>. This was achieved in its Canadian markets, especially Eastern and Central <span class="xn-location">Canada</span> which posted significant increases, whereas its U.S. markets are still in a slowdown. On <span class="xn-chron">December 1, 2009</span>, Richelieu acquired substantially all of the net assets of Woodland Specialties, a distributor of hardware products, high-pressure laminates and finishing products based in <span class="xn-location">Syracuse</span>, New York State.</p>
<p>"For a first quarter, which is usually the year's weakest period, we achieved excellent growth in <span class="xn-location">Canada</span> in our two major markets, manufacturers and retailers. We increased our sales to manufacturers by 8%, which reflects our ability to take advantage of market opportunities thanks to the innovation and enhancement of product offering, our representatives' presence, the availability of inventories and our superior-quality service, the contribution of our website richelieu.com and our capacity to target the sales potential by customer. In addition, we are pleased with the positive impact of the efforts we made last year to expand our offering to and presence in the retailers market; they gave rise to a 19% sales growth in this market in <span class="xn-location">Canada</span>. Last year, we increased our display floor space at retailers, which contributed to our sales growth in this market. Conversely, in the <span class="xn-location">United States</span>, our sales declined by 9.2% due to the economic context, but we are confident about our strategy and are pursuing our market penetration efforts. We discontinued our ceramic distribution activities, which no longer met our profit criteria and were not part of our core business; combined with the measures implemented in 2009 to mitigate the effects of the downturn, this decision will have a positive impact on our profit margins in upcoming periods," indicated <span class="xn-person">Richard Lord</span>, President and Chief Executive Officer.</p>
<p/>
<p>NEXT DIVIDEND PAYMENT</p>
<p/>
<p>At its meeting on <span class="xn-chron">March 25, 2010</span>, the Board of Directors approved the payment of a quarterly dividend of <span class="xn-money">$0.09</span> per share. This dividend is payable on <span class="xn-chron">April 22, 2010</span> to shareholders of record as at <span class="xn-chron">April 8, 2010</span>.</p>
<p/>
<p>ANALYSIS OF OPERATING RESULTS FOR THE FIRST QUARTER ENDED <span class="xn-chron">FEBRUARY 28, 2010</span> COMPARED WITH THE FIRST QUARTER ENDED <span class="xn-chron">FEBRUARY 28, 2009</span></p>
<p/>
<p>Consolidated sales totalled <span class="xn-money">$95.2 million</span>, compared with <span class="xn-money">$91.9 million</span> for the same period of 2009, an increase of 3.5%, of which 2.3% from internal growth and 1.2% from the acquisition of Paint Direct Inc. (<span class="xn-location">Calgary</span>, Alberta) and Woodland Specialties (<span class="xn-location">Syracuse</span>, New York) closed on <span class="xn-chron">November 4</span> and <span class="xn-chron">December 1, 2009</span> respectively. These represent sales from continuing operations because the Company decided to discontinue its ceramic distribution activities on <span class="xn-chron">December 29, 2009</span> and disposed of the inventories for a consideration of <span class="xn-money">$2.5 million</span> on <span class="xn-chron">January 29, 2010</span>. Accordingly, these activities are treated as discontinued operations in the statement of earnings for the first quarters ended <span class="xn-chron">February 28, 2010</span> and 2009.</p>
<p>The Company discontinued its ceramic sales activities as they no longer met its profit criteria and were not part of its core business. Consequently, consolidated sales for upcoming quarters will no longer reflect these activities' sales, which should result in improved profit margins.</p>
<p>Sales to manufacturers amounted to <span class="xn-money">$77.6 million</span>, a slight increase of 0.8% or <span class="xn-money">$0.6 million</span> over the corresponding quarter of 2009, thanks to a solid growth in Canadian markets which offset a major slowdown in the <span class="xn-location">United States</span>. Sales to hardware retailers including renovation superstores totalled <span class="xn-money">$17.6 million</span>, up by 18.0% or <span class="xn-money">$2.7 million</span> over the first quarter of the previous year. This growth reflects the benefits of the investments the Company made over the past year to increase its presence and product offering in the retailers including renovation superstores market in <span class="xn-location">Canada</span>.</p>
<p>Sales amounted to <span class="xn-money">$81.2 million</span> in <span class="xn-location">Canada</span>, up by 10.0% or <span class="xn-money">$7.4 million</span> over the corresponding quarter of 2009. Thus, Richelieu recorded 85.3% of the period's consolidated sales in its Canadian markets, up from 80.3% for the same quarter of the previous year. This increase stemmed mainly from the Eastern Canadian market which continued to post solid growth, to which were added a sharp rise in Central <span class="xn-location">Canada</span> reflecting renewed activity in Ontario and an appreciable growth in Western <span class="xn-location">Canada</span> achieved primarily in the retailers market.</p>
<p>Sales totalled US$13.3 million in the <span class="xn-location">United States</span>, down by 9.2% or US$1.3 million, of which 13.6% due to the internal decrease related to the economic context in this country, and a 4.4% growth-by-acquisition from the contribution of Woodland Specialties. Expressed in Canadian dollars, these sales amounted to <span class="xn-money">$14.0 million</span>, compared with <span class="xn-money">$18.1 million</span> for the first quarter of the previous year, thereby representing 14.7% of the period's consolidated sales.</p>
<p>Earnings before income taxes, interest, amortization and non-controlling interest (EBITDA) from continuing operations increased by 34.7% to <span class="xn-money">$10.9 million</span>. The gross profit margin improved thanks to a combination of positive factors, including the strengthening of the Canadian dollar (contrary to the corresponding period of 2009) and the fact that during the first quarter of the previous year, the Company assumed higher market penetration costs to increase its product offering and presence in the retailers market in <span class="xn-location">Canada</span>, whereas it is currently reaping the benefits of last year's efforts. The EBITDA margin improved to 11.4% from 8.8% for the first quarter of 2009; this improvement reflects the aforementioned factors and the sales growth.</p>
<p>Income taxes amounted to <span class="xn-money">$3.0 million</span>, compared with <span class="xn-money">$2.1 million</span> for the first quarter of 2009, reflecting the increase in earnings before income taxes and non-controlling interest.</p>
<p>Net earnings grew by 61.0% to <span class="xn-money">$7.0 million</span>. This growth reflects the aforementioned factors, to which was added a non-recurring gain net of taxes of <span class="xn-money">$0.7 million</span> on the disposal of the ceramics inventories. Earnings per share amounted to <span class="xn-money">$0.32</span> (basic and diluted), compared with <span class="xn-money">$0.20</span> (basic and diluted) for the first quarter of 2009, including the contribution of the discontinued operations of <span class="xn-money">$0.03</span> per share in 2010.</p>
<p>On account of a negative adjustment of <span class="xn-money">$0.1 million</span> on translation of the financial statements of the self-sustaining subsidiary in the <span class="xn-location">United States</span>, comprehensive income stood at <span class="xn-money">$6.9 million</span>.</p>
<p/>
<p>FINANCIAL POSITION</p>
<p/>
<p>Operating activities</p>
<p/>
<p>Cash flows provided by operating activities (before net change in non-cash working capital balances related to operations) increased by 24.2% to <span class="xn-money">$7.8 million</span> or <span class="xn-money">$0.36</span> per share, up from <span class="xn-money">$6.3 million</span> or <span class="xn-money">$0.29</span> per share for the first quarter of 2009, mainly reflecting the growth in net earnings. Net change in non-cash working capital items related to operations represented a cash outflow of <span class="xn-money">$1.1 million</span>, compared with <span class="xn-money">$6.7 million</span> in the first quarter of 2009. This variation is due primarily to a decrease of approximately <span class="xn-money">$5.0 million</span> in accounts receivable from <span class="xn-chron">November 30, 2009</span>, an equivalent increase in inventories and the variation in income taxes payable and receivable. Consequently, operating activities provided cash flows of <span class="xn-money">$6.7 million</span>, whereas they had used cash flows of <span class="xn-money">$0.4 million</span> in the first quarter of 2009.</p>
<p/>
<p>Financing activities</p>
<p/>
<p>Richelieu paid a total of approximately <span class="xn-money">$2.0 million</span> in shareholder dividends, an increase of 11.5% over the first quarter of 2009. The Company issued common shares for a consideration of <span class="xn-money">$0.1 million</span> subsequent to the exercise of options under the stock option plan. No common shares were purchased for cancellation during the period, compared to purchases of approximately <span class="xn-money">$0.1 million</span> in the first quarter of 2009. Consequently, financing activities used cash flows of <span class="xn-money">$1.8 million</span> during the first quarter of 2010, fairly equivalent to those for the corresponding quarter of 2009.</p>
<p/>
<p>Investing activities</p>
<p/>
<p>Richelieu invested <span class="xn-money">$1.4 million</span> during the first quarter, including <span class="xn-money">$0.6 million</span> for the acquisition of the principal net assets of Woodland Specialties and more than <span class="xn-money">$0.7 million</span> for various capital assets, mainly warehouse equipment and displays targeted to the retailers market.</p>
<p/>
<p>Sources of financing</p>
<p/>
<p>As at <span class="xn-chron">February 28, 2010</span>, cash and cash equivalents totalled <span class="xn-money">$54.4 million</span>, up from <span class="xn-money">$3.2 million</span> as at <span class="xn-chron">February 28, 2009</span>. The Company posted a working capital of <span class="xn-money">$156.1 million</span> for a current ratio of 4.8:1, compared with <span class="xn-money">$135.0 million</span> (4.9:1 ratio) as at <span class="xn-chron">February 28, 2009</span>, and <span class="xn-money">$150.5 million</span> (4.7:1 ratio) as at <span class="xn-chron">November 30, 2009</span>.</p>
<p>Richelieu believes that it has the capital resources needed to fulfill its ongoing commitments and obligations in 2010 and to assume the funding requirements needed for its growth and the financing and investing activities planned for the year. Furthermore, the Company has an authorized line of credit of <span class="xn-money">$26.0 million</span>, renewable annually and bearing interest at the bank's prime rate, as well as a line of credit of US$5 million bearing interest at prime rate plus 2%. In addition, the Company could obtain access to other outside financing if necessary.</p>
<p/>
<pre>
    
    Summary balance sheet

    As at February 28                                     2010          2009
    (in thousands of $)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Current assets                                     197,466       169,437
    Long-term assets                                    94,209       103,172
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total                                              291,675       272,609
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Current liabilities                                 41,379        34,432
    Other liabilities                                    4,576         5,630
    Shareholders' equity                               245,720       232,547
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total                                              291,675       272,609
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
</pre>
<p/>
<p>Total assets amounted to <span class="xn-money">$291.7 million</span> as at <span class="xn-chron">February 28, 2010</span>, up 7.0% over <span class="xn-money">$272.6 million</span> a year earlier. Current assets grew by 16.5% or <span class="xn-money">$28.0 million</span> over <span class="xn-chron">February 28, 2009</span>; this growth notably reflects the <span class="xn-money">$50.6 million</span> increase in cash and cash equivalents and the decreases of <span class="xn-money">$2.3 million</span> in accounts receivable, of <span class="xn-money">$2.8 million</span> in income taxes receivable and of <span class="xn-money">$17.8 million</span> in inventories subsequent to the optimization of the supply chain management and a reduction in inventories in the context of the recession in 2009.</p>
<p/>
<pre>
    
    TOTAL CASH

    As at February 28                                     2010          2009
    (in thousands of $)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Bank indebtedness                                        -             -
    Current portion of long-term debt                      351           283
    Long-term debt                                         316           382
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total                                                  669           665
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    less cash and cash equivalents                      54,394         3,186
    Net cash                                            53,727         2,521
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
</pre>
<p/>
<p>After deducting total interest-bearing debt of <span class="xn-money">$0.7 million</span>, the Company had a net cash position of <span class="xn-money">$53.7 million</span> as at <span class="xn-chron">February 28, 2010</span>. Richelieu continues to benefit from a healthy and solid financial position, enabling it to pursue its business strategy in its segment.</p>
<p>Shareholders' equity totalled <span class="xn-money">$245.7 million</span> as at <span class="xn-chron">February 28, 2010</span>, up from <span class="xn-money">$232.5 million</span> a year earlier; this 5.7% growth mainly reflects the increase of <span class="xn-money">$21.9 million</span> in retained earnings which amounted to <span class="xn-money">$229.0 million</span> as at <span class="xn-chron">February 28, 2010</span>, and the increase of approximately <span class="xn-money">$0.6 million</span> in contributed surplus, less a reduction in accumulated comprehensive income of <span class="xn-money">$9.5 million</span>. At the close of the first quarter, the book value per share stood at <span class="xn-money">$11.27</span>, compared with <span class="xn-money">$10.58</span> as at <span class="xn-chron">February 28, 2009</span>.</p>
<p/>
<p>Outlook</p>
<p/>
<p>"In upcoming quarters, we expect our intensive efforts to further develop the manufacturers and retailers markets to bear fruit, thanks notably to the new products and innovations we constantly add to our offering. We will also reap the benefits of the two acquisitions closed in November and <span class="xn-chron">December 2009</span> and the two new distribution centres opened in the <span class="xn-location">United States</span> during the previous year. We plan to pursue our expansion through acquisitions and opening new centres in <span class="xn-location">North America</span>," added <span class="xn-person">Mr. Lord</span>.</p>
<p/>
<pre>
    
    Profile as at March 25, 2010
    ----------------------------
    
</pre>
<p/>
<p>Richelieu is a leading North American distributor, importer and manufacturer of specialty hardware and complementary products. Its products are targeted to an extensive customer base of kitchen and bathroom cabinet, furniture, and window and door manufacturers plus the residential and commercial woodworking industry, as well as a large customer base of hardware retailers, including renovation superstores. Richelieu offers customers a broad mix of high-end products sourced from manufacturers around the world. Its product selection consists of more than 65,000 different items targeted to a base of over 40,000 customers who are served by 50 centres in <span class="xn-location">North America</span> - 29 distribution centres across <span class="xn-location">Canada</span>, 19 in the <span class="xn-location">United States</span> and two manufacturing plants in <span class="xn-location">Canada</span>, specifically Cedan Industries Inc. which specializes in the manufacture of a wide variety of veneer sheets and edgebanding products, and Menuiserie des Pins Ltée which manufactures components for the window and door industry and a broad selection of decorative mouldings.</p>
<p/>
<pre>
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Management's Report for the first quarter ended February 28, 2010,
    along with the unaudited consolidated financial statements and
    accompanying notes, are filed as of today on SEDAR (www.sedar.com).
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
</pre>
<p/>
<p>Notes to readers - Richelieu uses earnings before income taxes, interest, amortization and non-controlling interest ("EBITDA") because this measure enables management to assess the Company's operational performance. This measure is a widely accepted financial indicator of a company's ability to service and incur debt. However, EBITDA should not be considered by an investor as an alternative to operating income or net earnings, an indicator of operating performance or cash flows, or as a measure of liquidity. Because EBITDA is not a standardized measurement as prescribed by GAAP, it may not be comparable to the EBITDA of other companies. Certain statements set forth in this press release, such as statements about the growth outlook, constitute forward-looking statements. In some cases, these statements are identified by the use of terms such as "may", "could", "might", "intend", "should", "expect", "project", "plan", "believe", "estimate" or the negative form of these expressions or other comparable variants. These statements are based on the information available at the time they are written, on assumptions made by management and on the expectations of management, acting in good faith, regarding future events, including those relating to economic conditions, fluctuations in exchange rates and operating expenses, and the absence of unusual events entailing supplementary expenditures. Although management considers these assumptions and expectations reasonable based on the information available at the time they are written, they could prove inaccurate. Forward-looking statements are also subject, by their very nature, to known and unknown risks and uncertainties such as those related to the industry, acquisitions, labour relations, credit, key officers, supply, product liability, and other factors set forth in the Management's Report included in the Company's 2008 Annual Report as well as its Annual Information Form, which are available on the System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval (SEDAR) website at <a href="http://www.sedar.com">www.sedar.com</a>. Richelieu's actual results could differ materially from those indicated or underlying these forward-looking statements. The reader is therefore recommended not to unduly rely on these forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements do not reflect the potential impact of special items, any business combination or any other transaction that may be announced or occur subsequent to the date hereof. Richelieu undertakes no obligation to update or revise the forward-looking statements to account for new events or new circumstances, except where provided for by applicable legislation.</p>
<p/>
<pre>
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    CONFERENCE CALL - MARCH 25, 2010 AT 3:00 P.M. (EASTERN TIME)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
</pre>
<p/>
<p>Financial analysts and investors interested in participating in the conference call on Richelieu's results to be held at <span class="xn-chron">3:00 p.m.</span> on <span class="xn-chron">March 25, 2010</span> can dial 1-866-865-3087 a few minutes before the start of the call. For those unable to participate, a taped rebroadcast will be available as of <span class="xn-chron">6:00 p.m.</span> on <span class="xn-chron">March 25, 2010</span> until midnight on <span class="xn-chron">April 1, 2010</span>, by dialing 1-800-642-1687, access code: 61254453. Members of the media are invited to listen in.</p>
<p/>
<pre>
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Photos are available under "About Richelieu" - "Media" section at
    www.richelieu.com.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Consolidated statements of earnings (unaudited)

    Periods ended February 28
    (In thousands of dollars, except earnings per share)

                                                          2010          2009
                                                                   (Adjusted)
                                                             $             $
                                                  ---------------------------

    Sales                                               95,183        91,124
    Cost of sales and warehouse, selling and
     administrative expenses                            84,303        83,847
                                                  ---------------------------
    Earnings before the following                       10,880         8,077
                                                  ---------------------------
    Amortization of capital assets                       1,261         1,261
    Amortization of intangible assets                      325           356
    Financial costs, net                                   (22)            2
                                                  ---------------------------
                                                         1,564         1,619
                                                  ---------------------------
    Earnings before income taxes, non-controlling
     interest and discontinued operations                9,316         6,458
    Income taxes                                         2,961         2,076
                                                  ---------------------------
    Earnings before non-controlling interest and
     discontinued operations                             6,355         4,382
    Non-controlling interest                                12            14
                                                  ---------------------------
    Net earnings from continued operations               6,343         4,368
                                                  ---------------------------
    Net profit (net loss) from discontinued
     operations                                            659           (20)
                                                  ---------------------------
    Net earnings                                         7,002         4,348
                                                  ---------------------------
                                                  ---------------------------

    Earnings per share
    Basic
    From continued operations                             0.29          0.20
    From discontinued operations                          0.03             -
                                                  ---------------------------
                                                          0.32          0.20
                                                  ---------------------------
                                                  ---------------------------
    Diluted
    From continued operations                             0.29          0.20
    From discontinued operations                          0.03             -
                                                  ---------------------------
                                                          0.32          0.20
                                                  ---------------------------
                                                  ---------------------------

    Note:  The comparative figures included in the consolidated statements of
           earnings and cash flow have been adjusted to reflect the
           classification of the results from the ceramic distribution
           activities as discontinued operations.



    Consolidated statements retained earnings (unaudited)

    Periods ended February 28
    (In thousands of dollars)

                                                          2010          2009
                                                             $             $
                                                  ---------------------------

    Net earnings                                         7,002         4,348

    Retained earnings, beginning of period             223,986       204,591
    Dividends                                           (1,961)       (1,758)
    Premium on redemption of common shares
     for cancellation                                        -           (57)
                                                  ---------------------------
    Retained earnings, end of period                   229,027       207,124
                                                  ---------------------------
                                                  ---------------------------


    Consolidated statements of comprehensive income (unaudited)

    Periods ended February 28
    (In thousands of dollars)

                                                          2010          2009
                                                             $             $
                                                  ---------------------------

    Net earnings                                         7,002         4,348
    Other comprehensive income
    Translation adjustment of the net investment
     in self-sustaining foreign operations                (133)        1,536
                                                  ---------------------------
    Comprehensive income                                 6,869         5,884
                                                  ---------------------------
                                                  ---------------------------


    Consolidated statements of cash flows (unaudited)

    Periods ended February 28
    (In thousands of dollars)

                                                          2010          2009
                                                                   (Adjusted)
                                                             $             $
                                                  ---------------------------

    OPERATING ACTIVITIES
    Net earnings from continued operations               6,343         4,368
    Non-cash items
      Amortization of capital assets                     1,261         1,261
      Amortization of intangible assets                    325           356
      Future income taxes                                 (291)           75
      Non-controlling interest                              12            14
      Stock-based compensation expense                     198           247
                                                  ---------------------------
                                                         7,848         6,321
    Net change in non-cash working capital
     balances related to operations                     (1,104)       (6,746)
                                                  ---------------------------
                                                         6,744          (425)
                                                  ---------------------------

    FINANCING ACTIVITIES
    Dividends paid                                      (1,961)       (1,758)
    Issue of common shares                                 114             -
    Redemption of common shares for cancellation             -           (60)
                                                  ---------------------------
                                                        (1,847)       (1,818)
                                                  ---------------------------

    INVESTING ACTIVITIES
    Business acquisition                                  (622)            -
    Additions to capital assets                           (733)         (937)
                                                  ---------------------------
                                                        (1,355)         (937)
                                                  ---------------------------
    Effect of exchange rate fluctuations
     on cash and cash equivalents                          155          (159)

    Net change in cash and cash equivalents
     from continued operations                           3,697        (3,339)

    Cash flows from discontinued operations              2,255           399

                                                  ---------------------------
    Cash and cash equivalents, beginning of period      48,442         6,126
                                                  ---------------------------
    Cash and cash equivalents, end of period            54,394         3,186
                                                  ---------------------------
                                                  ---------------------------

    Supplemental information
    Income taxes paid                                    4,735         6,103
    Interest paid (received), net                          (25)           15
                                                  ---------------------------

    Note:  The comparative figures included in the consolidated statements
           of earnings and cash flow have been adjusted to reflect the
           classification of the results from the ceramic distribution
           activities as discontinued operations.



    Consolidated balance sheets (unaudited)

    (In thousands of dollars)

                                           As at         As at         As at
                                     February 28,  February 28,  November 30,
                                            2010          2009          2009
                                               $             $             $
                                ---------------------------------------------

    ASSETS
    Current assets
    Cash and cash equivalents             54,394         3,186        48,442
    Accounts receivable                   50,951        53,292        55,793
    Income tax receivable                    550         3,357             -
    Inventories                           90,639       108,414        87,058
    Prepaid expenses                         932         1,188           327
                                ---------------------------------------------
                                         197,466       169,437       191,620
                                ---------------------------------------------
    Capital assets                        19,037        21,547        19,569
    Intangible assets                     12,708        15,158        12,853
    Goodwill                              62,464        66,467        62,449
                                ---------------------------------------------
                                         291,675       272,609       286,491
                                ---------------------------------------------
                                ---------------------------------------------

    LIABILITIES AND SHAREHOLDERS'
     EQUITY
    Current liabilities
    Accounts payable and
     accrued liabilities                  41,028        34,149        40,108
    Income taxes payable                       -             -           676
    Current portion of long-
     term debt                               351           283           351
                                ---------------------------------------------
                                          41,379        34,432        41,135
                                ---------------------------------------------
    Long-term debt                           316           382           317
    Future income taxes                    1,116         2,397         1,407
    Non-controlling interest               3,144         2,851         3,132
                                ---------------------------------------------
                                          45,955        40,062        45,991
                                ---------------------------------------------

    Shareholders' equity
    Capital stock                         17,305        17,102        16,916
    Contributed surplus                    3,845         3,284         3,922
    Retained earnings                    229,027       207,124       223,986
    Accumulated other
     comprehensive income                 (4,457)        5,037        (4,324)
                                ---------------------------------------------
                                         245,720       232,547       240,500
                                ---------------------------------------------
                                         291,675       272,609       286,491
                                ---------------------------------------------
                                ---------------------------------------------
    

For further information: For further information: Richard Lord, President and Chief Executive Officer; Alain Giasson, Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer, (514) 336-4144; www.richelieu.com


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