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October 16, 2009    

General Electric posts big fall in Q3 profits

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by Kay Murchie

General Electric (GE) has revealed a poor performance between the July and September period as the US conglomerate’s finance arm was hit hard by the economic downturn.

The group, which is seen as barometer of US economic health, reported earnings of $2.5 billion (£1.5 billion) for the quarter, compared with $4.3 billion in the same period a year ago.

Revenues plunged by a fifth compared to the same three month period a year earlier to $37.8 billion, mainly due to a 30% decline in revenue at GE Capital to $12.2 billion down from $17.3 billion, with profits down by almost 87%.

GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt comments: “In a global economic environment that is beginning to slowly recover, GE delivered solid third-quarter business results.”

“We continue to execute on our plan at Capital Finance, perform well in a slow-growth industrial environment and strengthen the balance sheet with strong cash generation. We are aggressively controlling costs, increasing our industrial backlog while expanding margins, and capitalising on strong services performance,” added Mr Immelt.

Meanwhile, GE highlighted that its consumer and industrial divisions were performing better.

Shares in the company were down 0.8% at $16.65 pre-market trading.

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