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Despite Oil Prices, Some Problems After Japan Quake, UTC Sees Continued Strengths

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(Jessica Hill/AP Photo)

(Jessica Hill/AP Photo)

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By STEPHEN SINGER, AP Business Write

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ The chief executive of United
Technologies Corp. said Tuesday that rising commodity prices and
supply chain disruptions in Japan are causing some concerns, but
orders are rising and the weak dollar is boosting the
conglomerate’s exports.

Louis Chenevert, CEO of the parent company of Sikorsky Aircraft,
Otis elevator and other businesses, said at an investor analyst
conference Tuesday that higher gas prices and inflation worries
will likely crimp consumer spending. It’s also expected to affect
subsidiary Carrier’s air conditioning sales and airline customers
of aviation subsidiaries Pratt & Whitney and Hamilton Sundstrand.

However, he said the problems, which include supply
interruptions in Japan following the March 11 earthquake and
tsunami, are “well manageable within the UTC scope.”

He also said the weaker dollar “will have some benefits,”
because they make the company’s goods cheaper abroad.

About 60 percent of United Technologies’ $54.3 billion in
revenue last year was from exports.

Chenevert said the Hartford-based company also benefits from
continued strength in orders “across the board.” He singled out
gains at Carrier, which has benefited from its improving transport
refrigeration business and restructuring by United Technologies.

“The bottom line is that Carrier is very well positioned to
capitalize on market recovery and growth,” Chenevert said.

United Technologies raised its 2011 profit guidance last month
to between $5.25 and $5.40 per share from $5.20 to $5.35 per share.

Chenevert backed the guidance, saying he’s “highly confident” in
the outlook.

Chenevert said sales in emerging markets in Brazil, China, India
and Russia accounted for 20 percent of total sales, the first time
sales from those markets outpaced military sales, which accounted
for 18 percent of total revenue.

In China, he said the fastest growth is in central and western
provinces. At Otis, 20 percent of new equipment sales in China were
from central and western provinces six years ago, Chenevert said.

That’s expected to jump to 40 percent in the next two years, he
said.

     (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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