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Coast Distribution System Inc. saw a 7% increase in sales to $43.9 million for the first quarter ending March 31.

Earnings for the three months were $413,000 vs. $340,000 during the same period in 1999. Diluted average shares outstanding for the first quarter of 2000 were 4,314,804 vs. 5,143,526 for the same period in 1999. The reduction is attributable to the firm’s repurchase of approximately one million shares last year.

“Sales in the first quarter reflect our continued penetration in the marine aftermarket as well as a strong dealer showing at our annual RV buying show held in Las Vegas,” said Thomas R. McGuire, chairman and CEO of Morgan Hill, Calif.-based Coast. Accompanying these revenues, however, were increases in sales expenses as well as costs related to the firm’s computer conversion, McGuire added.