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Monday, 15 April, 2002, 21:55 GMT 22:55 UK
General Electric cuts 7,000 jobs
General Electric graphic
The world's largest company, General Electric (GE), has announced that it will cut 7,000 jobs.

The news comes as more than $15bn is wiped off the value of the company due to a plunging share price.

The jobs will be reduced from its huge financial arm, GE capital, which contributes about 40% to the group's overall earnings.

GE's businesses range from aerospace and appliances to financial services and broadcasting.

Investors flee

The GE share price has been under pressure since the giant firm reported a rare drop in profits during the first three months of the year.

The firm's shares fell 5% to $31.85 on the New York Stock exchange on Monday.

And that follows a drop of 9.6% last week when the firm announced its results.

The recent falls mean that the firm is in danger of losing its top spot as the world' largest company by market capitalisation to Microsoft.

The Immelt stamp

"After the earnings release last Thursday, there is still pessimism dangling with GE's long-term shareholders about the continued deterioration of the economy and the company's performance," said Paul Foster, a strategist at Chicago-based Mercury Trading.

GE has also been under pressure to disclose some of its murkier accounts after the Enron scandal.

The job cuts come six months after the new chief executive, Jeffrey Immelt has taken the reins form Jack Welch, who stepped down after 20 years in charge.

"This is part of GE Capital's ongoing productivity and digitization efforts," said company spokesman, John Oliver, referring to the job cuts.

See also:

12 Jul 01 | Business
GE profits without Honeywell
03 Jul 01 | Business
EU blocks GE/Honeywell deal
04 Jul 01 | Business
Q&A: GE's failed merger
11 Oct 01 | Business
General Electric feels the pinch
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