By STEPHEN SINGER ,  AP Business Writer

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ The biggest aerospace deal ever is paying off for United Technologies Corp.

The Hartford, Conn., aerospace and building systems conglomerate said Tuesday that its purchase of aerospace parts maker Goodrich Corp. boosted first-quarter revenue even as sales flagged in Europe, which is struggling with a weak economy. The $18.4 billion deal was announced in 2011 and closed in July 2012.

Revenue in the January-to-March period rose 16 percent to $14.4 billion from $12.4 billion in the year-ago quarter. Excluding the Goodrich acquisition, sales declined 2 percent from a year ago. United Technologies said that was due to Europe’s slack economy and weak commercial aerospace repairs and maintenance.

Net income of $1.267 billion, or $1.39 per share, was up from $330 million, or 36 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter that included discontinued operations of companies sold by United Technologies to raise cash for its Goodrich purchase. Excluding the discontinued operations, profit in last year’s first quarter would have been $1.31 per share.

Analysts polled by FactSet, on average, expected earnings of $1.29 per share on revenue of $14.94 billion.

CEO Louis Chenevert said he expects a “gradual resumption” of growth this year as the economy and markets improve. In addition to the aerospace industry, commercial and residential real estate markets are important to United Technologies, which sells elevators and escalators, heating and cooling components and fire and safety equipment.

Among United Technologies’ segments, its aerospace systems business posted the biggest sales increase in the quarter, to $3.26 billion, more than double $1.24 billion posted in the first quarter of 2012.

Sales for the quarter declined 7 percent at Sikorsky Aircraft as the helicopter manufacturer adjusts to reduced U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan. United Technologies’ climate, controls and security business also posted a 7 percent drop in sales in the first quarter.

United Technologies is at least the second company to report that Europe’s economy is a drag on U.S. corporate sales and profit. General Electric Co. said last Friday its first-quarter results were worse than expected, with revenue from the region down 17 percent over last year’s first quarter.

The company, which is raising significant amounts of cash from divestitures to exit non-essential business and comply with federal competition rules, said it will pay down $2 billion of debt this year, up from an earlier $1 billion estimate.

Its shares fell 63 cents to $93 in premarket trading.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ First-quarter sales at business segments of United Technologies Corp. (in millions)

20132012   Change   Percent change

United Technologies………………..$14,399    $12,416    $1,983 16 percent

Otis elevator……………………………$2,814  $2,770    $44 2 percent

UTC Climate, Controls & Security….$3,837  $4,112       ($275)     -7 percent

Pratt & Whitney………………………..$3,402  $3,052  $350    11 percent

UTC Aerospace Systems…………..    $3,263  $1,236     $2,027    164 percent

Sikorsky…………………………………. $1,249  $1,346 ($97)  – 7 percent

Source: United Technologies Corp.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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