February 9, 2010 / 6:46 PM / in 8 years

UPDATE 2-Textron sees return to profit growth in 2011

* Plans additional 350 job cuts this year

* CEO sees ‘relatively modest recovery’ (Adds CEO quote, background in paragraphs 2-3, 5, 7-9)

BOSTON, Feb 9 (Reuters) - Textron Inc (TXT.N) expects to resume profit growth in 2011 after cutting 350 more jobs this year in the face of what the diversified U.S. manufacturer’s chief executive expects to be a modest economic recovery.

“We are anticipating ... a relatively modest recovery,” CEO Scott Donnelly told investors on Tuesday. “We are very focused on making sure we take advantage of the cost actions we took last year.”

The world’s largest maker of corporate jets has cut some 20 percent of its staff since the start of the recession.

The company, which also makes Bell helicopters, EZ-Go golf carts and military vehicles, last month surprised Wall Street with a forecast that 2010 profit would drop 18 to 50 percent before one-time items, to between 30 cents and 50 cents a share. On Tuesday it reiterated that forecast, which included $30 million in restructuring expenses.

Analysts, on average, look for the company to earn 49 cents per share excluding one-time items in 2010, on revenue of $10.63 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Donnelly, a former General Electric Co (GE.N) executive who became CEO of Providence, Rhode Island-based Textron in December, has taken the reins at a tough time for the company. Textron is coping with a sharp drop-off in demand for business jets and is working to scale down its finance arm, which was hard hit by the credit crunch.

Textron’s rivals include the Gulfstream unit of General Dynamics Corp (GD.N) and Canada’s Bombardier Inc (BBDb.TO) in corporate jets, and United Technologies Corp (UTX.N) in helicopters.

Textron shares have rebounded sharply from the 25-year lows they tested in March 2009, when investors were worried that troubles at its finance arm could drag the whole company down.

On Tuesday the shares were up 2 percent at $19.09 on the New York Stock Exchange, more than five times their $3.57 March 6 low. (Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Bernard Orr and John Wallace)

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