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Dan Friedmann, President and Chief Executive Officer of MDA,13800 Commerce Parkway in Richmond, B.C., in front of an artist rendition of the RADARSAT constellation for the Canadian government.

LAURA LEYSHON FOR THE GLOBE AND MAIL/laura leyshon The Globe and Mail

MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. reported a first-quarter profit of $33.4-million on Tuesday.

The space and satellite technology developer said the profit amounted to $1.05 per diluted share, compared with a profit of $84.5-million, or $2.05 per share, a year ago when the company sold its property information business.

Revenue amounted to $172-million, down from $206.5-million.

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The company had diversified into the property information business, but sold it last year for $815-million (U.S.) cash, plus up to an additional $30-million (U.S.) if the assets reach specific performance targets through 2014.

Earlier this year, MDA said it was laying off workers after a preliminary assessment of the federal budget suggests it doesn't include the money needed for the Radarsat Constellation Mission as envisioned.

MDA, which has developed space and satellite technology for many missions including the robot arm used on the International Space Station, said it was "uncertain on the way forward on Phase D of RCM and expects to work with its customer to seek clarification over the coming weeks."

MDA was not specific as to how many jobs it was cutting, but said "given the level of uncertainty, the company is accelerating its steps to restructure its work force related to this event."

The Radarsat Constellation Mission is a three-satellite program that began in 2005. According to the space agency website, satellites are expected to be launched in 2014 and 2015.

The satellites would be used for maritime surveillance, disaster management and monitoring of environmental change.

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