United Tech CFO declines comment on Sikorsky

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 6, 2014 at 4:32 pm •  Published: February 6, 2014

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The chief financial officer of United Technologies Corp. declined to comment Thursday about a report that the conglomerate could sell or spin off Sikorsky, but said the helicopter maker has a "very bright future."

Chief Financial Officer Greg Hayes, questioned at an aerospace defense conference, said the Hartford, Conn., aerospace giant periodically reviews its portfolio of businesses.

"If we comment on this rumor we'll have to comment on every subsequent rumor," he said. "So I can't say yes, we're selling Sikorsky or no, we're not selling Sikorsky."

Defense News, citing sources it did not identify, reported on Jan. 27 that United Technologies is considering whether to sell or spin off Sikorsky or negotiate a merger.

Sikorsky, the maker of the Black Hawk helicopter, is feeling the impact of reduced military spending due to budget cuts and a scaled-back U.S. presence in Afghanistan. Still, Hayes said he's optimistic about the Stratford, Conn., subsidiary.

"It has a very bright future but a tough couple of years," Hayes said. "There's nothing but upside at Sikorsky in my view."

Combat helicopters are fully funded, he said, and he believes United Technologies has a "very good chance" to win contracts for the new presidential helicopter.

"We also have a huge international marketplace that's going to play out this year," Hayes said.

Revenue and profit at Sikorsky have fallen in each of the last two years. Revenue in 2013 was $6.25 billion, down 8 percent from 2012 and off by 15 percent from 2011. Profit last year was $594 million, down 17 percent from 2012 and 29 percent lower than in 2011.

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