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Thursday, 12 April, 2001, 14:40 GMT 15:40 UK
General Electric profits up 16%
Men cleaning aeroplane
GE's profits from making aircraft engines rose by 7% in the first quarter
General Electric, the world's biggest company, has seen its profits rise by 16% in the first quarter of the year, despite the economic slowdown.

The company reaped a $3.017bn profit in the first three months of the year compared to $2.592 in the same period the previous year.

General Electric is the world's largest company by market capitalisation, and owns businesses ranging from aerospace and power generation to financial services and broadcasting.

It attributes its ability to weather the harsh business climate in the US to the diversity of its businesses and its global reach.

Waiting approval

The strength of its results were also due to record revenue from its industrial businesses which were least affected by the US slowdown.

Revenue from GE's industrial operations - which include power systems, medical systems and aircraft engine segments - grew by 11%.


The results demonstrate the ability of GE's diverse mix of businesses to deliver growth despite a challenging economic climate

John Welch
GE Chairman
The plastics sector was one of the few businesses which did not show growth, with both revenue and profits about the same as the previous year.

But GE's chairman elect, Jeff Immelt, denied that the company had any plans to sell the sector.

"The record results for the first quarter once again demonstrate the ability of GE's diverse mix of leading global businesses to deliver earnings growth, increased margins and strong cash generation despite a challenging economic climate," said John Welch, GE's chairman.

Welch also highlighted cost savings achieved through the digitalisation of its operations and moving much administration online.

And the firm is still waiting both EU and US Department of Justice approval for its $45bn acquisition of Honeywell.

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23 Oct 00 | Business
General Electric buys Honeywell
27 Nov 00 | Business
New chief for world's biggest firm
17 Jan 01 | Business
GE profits rise, Kodak stumbles
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