United Technologies, Canada reach deal on delayed helicopters

Wed Jun 18, 2014 8:30pm EDT
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By Andrea Shalal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - United Technologies Corp (UTX.N: Quote) on Wednesday said its Sikorsky Aircraft unit would record sales of $850 million and a charge of $440 million in the second quarter after signing a revamped agreement with Canada for 28 maritime helicopters.

The amendment to the long delayed multibillion dollar deal will allow Canada to start retiring its fleet of aging Sea King helicopters in 2015 and accelerate operations of the new CH-148 Cyclone helicopters, the company said in a statement.

It said the charge would be offset by one-time gains during the course of 2014, and the company's forecast for earnings per share in 2014 remained unchanged at $6.65 to $6.85.

"This agreement clears the way for us to deliver the world's most advanced maritime helicopter capability to the Royal Canadian Air Force," Sikorsky President Mick Maurer said in a statement.

Public Works and Government Services Canada, which oversees defense procurements, said the government's budget of C$1.9 billion the helicopters remained unchanged, and it would spend C$5.7 billion for in-service support of the new fleet through 2038, 10 years longer than planned.

"I am pleased that this contract has now been completed and that we can fulfill our government's commitment to begin to retire the Sea Kings in 2015, and deliver a new and leading maritime helicopter to the Royal Canadian Air Force," said Diane Finley, minister of public works and government services.

Canada announced in September that it might scrap the deal and consider other options, but the two sides reached agreement in late December on how to revamp the contract.

On Wednesday, Canada said Hitachi Consulting, an independent group that reviewed and verified the new contract structure, would continue to oversee aspects of the implementation plan, ensuring that delivery times remain as promised.   Continued...