1 Jun 2012

GE Capital gearing up for growth

6:57 am on 1 June 2012

GE Capital's New Zealand arm says it is gearing up for further growth after a strong set of results from its consumer and business lending arms.

Profits from continuing operations rose to $149 million in the year to the end of 2011, from $115 million in 2010.

The result excludes a $15 million loss it took on its sale of $1 billion of mortgages to Pepper Home Loans last June.

GE Capital is also winding down its vehicle lending business. But managing director Aaron Baxter says its consumer and business lending units grew at a double-digit clip last year.

Mr Baxter says GE has benefited from the demise of locally-owned finance companies.

GE launched GEM Visa last year, which offers interest free credit at retailers including Harvey Norman and Noel Leeming, as well as normal credit card services.

Mr Baxter says 80,000 accounts have been opened using the card and GE plans to follow that up with new products in 2012.