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Russel Metals hiking quarterly dividend 9% as Q2 earnings, revenue soar

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TORONTO - Russel Metals Inc. (TSX:RUS) is increasing its quarterly dividend by nine per cent after posting big increases in both second-quarter earnings and revenue.

The Toronto-based metals distribution company reported after markets closed Tuesday that net income for the three months ended June 30 was $30.5 million or 48 cents per diluted share, up from $20 million or 33 cents in the prior-year period.

Revenue rose to $893.3 million from $758.1 million.

The dividend, which is being increased to 38 cents per share from 35 cents, will be payable Sept. 15 to shareholders of record at the close of business on Aug. 26.

"Our revenues, gross margins and operating profits improved in all three of our business segments versus last year," president and CEO Brian Hedges said in a statement.

Besides benefiting from strengthening economies in the United States and Western Canada, investments over the last three years in acquisitions, process improvements, new facilities and processing equipment have allowed the company to strengthen and to grow its market share, Hedges said.

On the Toronto Stock Exchange, Russel Metals shares closed down 23 cents at $35.39 on Tuesday.

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