May 11 (Reuters) - Canadian Tire Corp Ltd reported higher-than-expected quarterly revenue and profit on Thursday, helped by strong demand for its apparel and home products as well as higher margins at its financial business.
The company, which sells a range of products - from automotive to apparel, said higher retail sales were driven by strong winter-related sales in the quarter.
Revenue from Canadian Tire's retail stores, which contributed to more than half of its total sales, increased 2 percent to C$1.38 billion in the first quarter ended April 1.
Excluding items, the company earned C$1.24 per share, well above analysts' average estimate of 95 Canadian cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Gross margin at the company's financial business, which markets a range of Canadian Tire branded credit cards, insurance and warranty products, rose to 61.3 percent from 57.6 percent last year.
Net profit was C$107.9 million ($79 million), or C$1.24 per share, in the quarter, from C$85.6 million, or 90 Canadian cents per share, a year earlier.
Total revenue rose 7.6 percent to C$2.75 billion, higher than analysts' average estimate of C$2.71 billion.
$1 = 1.3696 Canadian dollars Reporting by Muvija M in Bengaluru; Editing by Martina D'Couto