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LONDON (Reuters) - British car and aeroplane parts maker Meggitt (MGGT.L) said it had sold its defence unit to UK firm QinetiQ (QQ.L) for 57.5 million pounds ($71 million) in cash, as part of a plan to focus on sectors where it has a leading position.
The unit, which provides unmanned aerial, naval and land-based target systems to 40 different countries from bases in Britain and Canada, is expected to make 5.5 million pounds of operating profit this year, said QinetiQ.
QinetiQ added that the unit, called Meggitt Target Systems, would help it to drive growth in international markets as it generates 90 percent of its revenues outside the UK.
Meggitt said it agreed to pay 10.2 million pounds from the sale proceeds into the company's pension plan to reduce its pension deficit.
($1 = 0.8083 pounds)
Reporting by Sarah Young, Editing by Paul Sandle