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Hans Silvani works on a simulator at CAE Inc., in Montreal, Quebec, April 21, 2010. (Christinne Muschi/Christinne Muschi for The Globe and Mail)
Hans Silvani works on a simulator at CAE Inc., in Montreal, Quebec, April 21, 2010. (Christinne Muschi/Christinne Muschi for The Globe and Mail)

CAE profit rises 17% Add to ...

CAE Inc. is cutting 300 jobs despite growing revenues and profits as the flight simulator and training company adjusts to the impact of military budget cuts in Europe.

The Montreal-based company announced Wednesday that it is trimming about four per cent of its global workforce of 8,000. The locations of the reductions weren’t identified but CAE said most of those affected have already been notified.

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CAE said its pipeline of defence opportunities remains large as orders accelerate from high-growth regions like Asia and the Middle East.

However, European governments are cutting their military budgets resulting in lower business activity.

“We are taking measures to refocus our resources and capabilities in response to this change in the defence market,” the company said in a news release.

It will record a restructuring expense of about $25-million in the first half of fiscal 2013.

The company also announced Wednesday that Gene Colabatistto has been appointed to be group president of military simulation products, training and services. He replaces Martin Gagne who has decided to retire.

Overall, CAE’s fourth-quarter profit rose to $53.2-million as it got higher revenue from its core civil and military operations as well as its new business segments.

The profit amounted to 21 cents per share, up from $45.5-million or 18 cents per share a year earlier.

Revenue was $506.7-million, 9 per cent higher than $465.6-million a year earlier.

CAE was expected to earn 19 cents per share on $508 million of revenues in the fourth quarter, according to analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.

For the full year, it earned $180-million or 70 cents per share, compared with $160.3-million or 62 cents a year earlier. Excluding one-time items, adjusted profits were $183-million or 71 cents per share.

Revenues increased 12 per cent to $1.82-billion, up from $1.63-billion in fiscal 2011.

Chief executive Marc Parent said the company achieved “a solid performance” in the fourth quarter and full year, laying the foundation for future growth.

“We had strong revenue growth and margins in our civil business with record orders, and despite the challenges in defence, our military business finished the year with solid order intake, continued revenue growth and good operating margins,” he stated.

“In new core markets, we are on track to creating a sizable and profitable business beyond our core.”

CAE’s civil business, which manufactures and sells flight simulators used to train commercial pilots and provides training at centres around the world, generated $215.4-million of revenue, up 9 per cent from a year earlier.

The military segment, which also provides training equipment and services to governments around the world, contributed $267.1-million of revenue — up 4 per cent from a year earlier.

The combined military segment order backlog increased to $2.19-billion, including a record level of U.S. defence contracts.

CAE’s relatively new mining and healthcare segments contributed a total of $24.2-million in revenue for the quarter, up from $11.1-million last year.

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