updated 4/20/2005 11:32:12 AM ET 2005-04-20T15:32:12

United Technologies Corp., the maker of Pratt & Whitney jet engines and Carrier air conditioners, said Wednesday that its first-quarter profit rose 18 percent, helped by internal growth and the contribution of the Linde refrigeration business, acquired last year.

The results exceeded Wall Street estimates, and the company raised its outlook for the year.

The industrial conglomerate said its quarterly income grew to $651 million, or $1.28 per share, from $551 million, or $1.08 per share, a year ago. Results for the quarter included $50 million in restructuring costs, as well as a charge of 6 cents per share from accounting litigation involving Pratt & Whitney, and a charge of 3 cents per share for foreign currency translation.

Revenue rose 9 percent to $9.41 billion from $8.65 billion last year, reflecting increased sales from existing units plus the contribution from the Linde commercial refrigeration business, which was purchased from Germany’s Linde AG in 2004.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial expected earnings per share of $1.25 on revenue of $9.19 billion.

The company’s businesses also include helicopter manufacturer Sikorsky, Otis elevators, and Kidde PLC, a British fire and safety company acquired in December for $2.8 billion.

Profits and sales rose at all of the company’s six businesses. Profits were especially strong at Otis and Pratt and Whitney.

“This is an exceptional start to 2005 and gives us confidence to raise our full year earnings outlook accordingly,” George David, United Technologies chairman and chief executive, said in a statement. “We now expect full year earnings growth of 12 to 16 percent, or $5.90 to $6.15 per share on a pre-split basis. With Kidde now closed we see revenues of approximately $43 billion for the year.”

United Technologies previously forecast 2005 earnings of $5.85 to $6.10 per share on revenue of about $40 billion. The company also plans a 2-for-1 stock split on June 10 and said it expects to incur about $100 million in restructuring costs on the year.

Analysts had been forecasting 2005 earnings per share of $6.06 and revenue of $40.33 billion.

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