United Technologies CEO optimistic about improving economy, airline industry

HARTFORD, Conn. – The chief executive of aerospace giant United Technologies Corp. is optimistic about an improving economy and airline industry.

CEO Louis Chenevert (Shen-eh-VAIR) told analysts Tuesday that airline profitability looks better for 2013 than in recent years. And he said the Hartford, Conn., conglomerate’s $18.4 billion purchase of Goodrich Corp. and a $1.5 billion deal by Pratt & Whitney to buy out Rolls-Royce from a joint venture that makes engines for the Airbus A320 are paying off.

Chenevert said North American commercial construction is improving — good news for its Carrier heating and ventilating business. And orders were up 22 per cent in emerging markets in Brazil, Russia, India and China.

Chenevert said United Technologies expects to pay down $2 billion in debt this year and set aside $1 billion for acquisitions