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Flight training services and technology firm CAE Inc. says second-quarter profits rose to $43.1-million, helped by strength in its commercial aerospace contracts.

The Montreal-based company said Wednesday the results were equal to 17 cents a share, meeting analyst expectations.

The latest earnings compared with net profits of $37.2-million or 14 cents per share in the same period last year.

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Revenue increased to $427.9-million from $366.4-million, just slightly above analyst expectations.

"We had good performance this quarter led by our Civil business, which continues to benefit from the commercial aerospace up-cycle and our leadership positions in emerging markets," president and CEO Marc Parent said in a release ahead of CAE's annual meeting in Montreal.

"Full-flight simulator sales are off to a strong start and we signed three pivotal joint venture agreements, including the total outsourcing of training by AirAsia, one of the world's fastest growing airlines.

Parent noted that its defence technology and training division has faced order delays that added margin pressure to the results.

"The market outlook has become more challenging as governments re-evaluate their force structures and contend with budget constraints," he said.

"However, our healthy backlog, long-term value proposition and position in key growth defence markets give us confidence for future growth."

Shares in CAE were down 23 cents at $11.60 in early trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

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Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters put revenue at $427-million.

Earnings per share was estimated at 17 cents.

CAE has said it's on track to meet its forecast for simulator sales this year after winning contracts worth about $100-million for six full-flight simulators to airline customers in Asia, Europe and North America.

CAE also was recently awarded military contracts valued at more than $115-million, including a contract from the U.S. navy to develop two MH-60R helicopter simulators

The Montreal-based company currently has 32 civil aviation, military and helicopter training centres around the world and trains more than 80,000 crew members.

The company has annual revenues of more than $1.6-billion.

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