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Flight simulators, shown at the Aviation Training Centre in Toronto on Dec. 13, 2001, are made at CAE Inc., which is slashing 700 jobs as the flight training firm anticipates a drop in orders from the civil aviation sector. ((Aaron Harris/Canadian Press))

CAE Inc. said Thursday it is cutting 700 jobs, or 10 per cent of its workforce, including 600 positions in Montreal, where the company makes civilian flight simulators.

The company said the remainder of the positions being cut are based in other locations around the world. Included in the layoffs are 70 management positions.

"Aerospace companies are facing extraordinary challenges and CAE is being tested as well," Montreal-based CAE said.

"Our military business has never been stronger but we expect civil orders to decline in the current context," the firm said.

Roughly 380 jobs will be cut in the coming weeks, with the remaining balance to be eliminated in the autumn.

CAE said the cuts will result in restructuring expenses of $34 million, to be taken in the first quarter this fiscal year. The company expects the job cuts will help it save $15 million annually.

The announced job cuts came as CAE said it made a profit of $51.3 million (20 cents a share) in its fourth quarter, which was up from $35.6 million (14 cents a share) a year earlier, when its earnings were reduced by $11.4 million for discontinued operations.

CAE's revenue rose to $438.8 million from $366.6 million year-over-year.

At the end of its most-recent fiscal year, CAE said its order backlog stood at $3.18 billion, which was up $2.94 billion at the end of the third quarter and from $2.9 billion at the end of the previous year.

The company said  record military orders of $1.1 billion and civilian orders of $847 million contributed to the rise in its backlog.

CAE stock slid 17 cents to $7.08 in TSX trading.