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article imageGE profits rise 5% in improving economy

By AFP     Jan 17, 2014 in Business

US conglomerate General Electric on Friday reported a five percent rise in quarterly earnings following better results in most divisions and record backlog.

GE, which operates across energy, aviation, health care and other sectors, said fourth-quarter profits were $4.2 billion on revenues of $40.4 billion, up from the year-ago level of $4.0 billion on revenues of $39.2 billion.

The results translated into operating earnings per year share of 53 cents, matching analyst estimates.

GE chief executive Jeff Immelt characterized fourth-quarter results as "strong" in what he called "an an improving but mixed environment."

"We saw good conditions in growth markets, strength in the US, and a mixed environment in Europe," Immelt said.

"We had strong operating performance for the year and are pleased with our execution in 2013, taking $1.6 billion of cost out, growing margins, reducing the size of GE Capital, and returning more than $18 billion to shareholders."

GE said its fourth-quarter US orders rose eight percent, while European orders rose three percent and "growth market" orders rose 13 percent.

The company’s $244 billion backlog of equipment and services at the end of the quarter was a record, GE said.

GE reported higher revenues in six of seven industrial segments, with the biggest percentage gain in oil and gas with 17 percent to $5.3 billion in the 2013 quarter. Healthcare was the only segment to see declining revenue.

GE reported higher profits in six of seven industrial segments, with the biggest percent gain also coming in oil and gas. The only segment with lower earnings was energy management.

Full-year 2013 earnings were $14.1 billion on revenues of $146.0 billion, up from $13.6 billion on revenues of $146.7 billion.

GE shares were up 0.9 percent in pre-market trade.

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