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Last Updated: Friday, 14 October 2005, 13:44 GMT 14:44 UK
GE builds profits on airline boom
GE Chief Executive Jeffrey Immelt
Jeffrey Immelt took over from the legendary Jack Welch in 2001
Profits at General Electric (GE) have surged 15% amid rising demand for jet engines and power generation equipment.

In the three months to September, the world's second most valuable company earned $4.68bn (2.7bn), on sales which rose 9% to $41.93bn.

Strong demand from airlines for new jets, despite industry troubles, helped to feed the increase.

Solid performances also came from the energy market, as oil prices surged, and its lucrative personal finance arm.

However, the group's TV unit NBC Universal was less impressive. Revenues fell by more than a quarter compared to last year when the Olympics boosted advertising sales.


The group, whose growth during the 1980s and 1990s made its former chief executive Jack Welch a near legend, has long been famous for the sheer breadth of its activities.

Measured by the value of its shares, it was for many years the world's biggest company - it has recently been overtaken by Exxon Mobil, buoyed up by soaring energy prices.

However, current GE chief Jeffrey Immelt is beginning to slim the group down a little.

Insurance is one casualty, the group sold down most of its shares in insurer Genworth Financial, giving it a $250m gain during the quarter reducing its stake to a minority interest.

GE shares closed up nearly 1% at $34.34 on Friday.

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