May 6, 2011 | last updated May 31, 2012 6:05 pm

Kaman gets 1Q profit lift from late founder

Bloomfield aerospace-industrial parts maker Kaman Corp. had a nearly seven-fold increase in fiscal first-quarter profits, fueled by strong sales and a parting lift from late founder Charlie Kaman.

The company earned $13.6 million, or 52 cents a share, in the three months ended April 1, up from $1.7 million, or 7 cents a share, earned the comparable period a year ago.

First-quarter sales rose 37 percent to $377.8 million vs. $276.8 million a year earlier.

Kaman's operating earnings of $23.6 million included a non-recurring benefit of $2.4 million recognized in the 2011 first quarter, the company said in a statement, that stemmed "from the death of a former executive.''

A company spokesman declined Friday to name the executive.

Aerospace pioneer Charles H. Kaman, who started his eponymous company in 1945 and ran it for 55 years, died Jan. 31. He was 91 and was Kaman's chairman emeritus at his death.

Many large companies have so-called "key man'' life insurance policies covering their most senior executives. The policies are designed to cushion a company financially in case a key executive succumbs.

Kaman Chairman and CEO Neal J. Keating said the company benefited from improved profit margins in all of its business lines.

Its industrial distribution business, in particular, achieved record sales in the first quarter and order backlog continues to grow, Keating said.

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