22 Jan 2011

GE profit up

7:27 am on 22 January 2011

General Electric has seen a rise in profits after reporting strong growth in equipment orders.

The conglomerate made a net profit of $US4.5 billion in the fourth quarter, up 52% on the same period a year earlier. Revenues increased 1% to $US41.4 billion.

GE is seen as a bellwether for the world economy.

Orders grew 12% year-on-year, including a 20% rise in equipment orders and a 5% increase in services.

Earlier this week GE announced several joint venture deals in connection with a state visit to Washington by President Hu Jintao of China.

The BBC reports these include an agreement with Shenhua Energy Company to help with cleaner coal technology for industrial chemicals and power generation.

GE is also to work with the Aviation Industry Corporation of China to support the development of China's first, big home-grown passenger jet.