Textron to cut 350 more jobs this year

TEXTRON’S V-22 OSPREY, manufactured jointly by its Bell Helicopter division and Boeing, is being used for relief efforts in Haiti, above.
Posted 2/10/10

(Updated, 2 p.m.)

PROVIDENCE – Textron Inc. plans to eliminate another 350 jobs this year, far fewer than the combined 10,400 workers the company laid off over the last two years, executives said Tuesday.

The company expects to spend about $30 million on restructuring expenses this year, down from $237 million in 2009 and $64 million in 2008, Chief Financial Officer Frank Connor said in a presentation at the company’s annual investor meeting.

When this year’s planned layoffs are completed, Textron’s work force will have shrunk 24 percent since December 2007, from 44,000 to 33,250.

A spokeswoman for Textron, Karen Gousie, declined to say which jobs would be cut. “We do not have any additional details to share at this time,” she said in an e-mail.

A decade ago, in December 2000, Textron had 68,000 employees, according to Securities & Exchange Commission filings.

Textron’s executives offered a cautiously optimistic outlook at Tuesday’s meeting in New York, saying they expect earnings to grow next year after falling anywhere from 18 to 50 percent this year.

“We are anticipating … a relatively modest recovery,” Chief Executive Officer Scott Donnelly said, according to Reuters. “We are very focused on making sure we take advantage of the cost actions we took last year.”

Textron said more than half of its $10.5 billion in revenue last year came from its Cessna (32 percent) and Bell Helicopter (27 percent) divisions, followed by its industrial manufacturing division (20 percent) and Textron Systems (18 percent). The share contributed by Textron Financial Corp., its troubled finance division, shrank to 3 percent.

Textron finished last year with $1.89 billion in cash on hand, up from $547 million a year earlier, after selling equity and debt, downsizing and continuing to shrink Textron Financial.

The continued focus on stockpiling cash will help the company pay down some of the billions of dollars in debt it owes over the next few years. The company has $2.23 billion in debt maturing this year and next, and $3.13 billion maturing in 2012.

Textron also noted the V-22 Osprey, an aircraft manufactured jointly by Textron subsidiary Bell and Boeing Co., is being used by the United States military to assist relief efforts for the first time in Haiti following the devastating earthquake there.

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