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Fri, Mar 27, 2009

Report: Pratt & Whitney Expects 'Significant' Layoffs This Year

As Many As 1,500 New Job Cuts In Connecticut

The news isn't surprising, though the hard numbers are certainly disquieting. Reuters reports Pratt & Whitney expects to cut as many as 1,500 additional jobs by the end of 2009, as the enginemaker continues to scale back operations due to the slumping economy.

Company president David Hess made those comments to Reuters this week. The layoffs are part of the 11,600 jobs expected to be cut this year among all divisions of Pratt parent company United Technologies Inc, as ANN reported earlier this month.

Hess adds the 1,500 cuts will be distributed among Pratt & Whitney and components maker Hamilton Sundstrand, though "[w]e expect that a significant chunk of that number will come from Pratt."

The enginemaker has also lowered its earnings forecast for 2009, saying at best operating profits will be flat, to the worst case down $50 million. That would follow 2008 numbers of a $2.12 billion profit last year, on $12.97 billion in revenue.

Hess said despite the cuts, the company continues to look at new opportunities. Pratt recently diversified its operations by adding United Technologies' geothermal
power business under its banner.

"There's probably even more opportunity" on the power side, Hess said. "The industry is more fragmented and newer."



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