(Corrects total revenue to $2.85 bln from $2.82 bln in paragraph 4)
* First-quarter rev nearly unchanged from a year earlier
* Earnings from cont. ops $0.31 vs $0.40 a year earlier
* Bell business revenue falls 8 pct
May 1 (Reuters) - Textron Inc reported a 24 percent drop in quarterly profit, partly due to fewer deliveries of its Bell helicopters and unmanned aircraft systems.
The company's Bell business, which is mostly defense focused, has been hurt by the U.S. government's spending cuts.
Textron, also the maker of Cessna business aircraft, said fewer deliveries to the military contributed to an 8 percent drop in revenue at the Bell business.
Revenue at its Textron Systems business, which makes unmanned aircraft systems and marine and land systems, decreased 15 percent to $363 million. Total revenue was nearly unchanged from a year earlier at $2.85 billion.
The Bell and Textron Systems businesses together make up more than 40 percent of total revenue.
Income from continuing operations dropped to $87 million, or 31 cents per share, in the first quarter ended March 29, from $115 million, or 40 cents per share, a year earlier.
Textron recorded $16 million in costs related to its acquisition of Beechcraft Corp earlier this year.
The company's shares closed at $40.90 on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday. They have gained about 64 percent in the past year, compared with a 19 percent rise in the S&P 500 index . (Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel)