GE said first-quarter 2010 earnings from continuing operations were $2.3 billion, down 18% from the first quarter of 2009. Revenues were $36.6 billion for the quarter, down 5% from a year ago, reflecting acceleration of GE Capital downsizing.
GE's Home & Business Solutions unit, which includes appliances, lighting, and intelligent platforms, showed revenue for the three months ended Mar. 31, 2010, at $1.940 billion, up about 1% from $1.924 billion in the same period of 2009. Profits for the business segment were $71 million, up 58% from the $45 million in 2009. (Business segments were reorganized at the beginning of 2010. GE reclassified prior-period results to conform to the current-period's presentation.)
“GE’s environment continued to improve in the first quarter of 2010,” GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt said. “We saw encouraging economic signs, including increases in airline passenger miles and freight loadings, declines in receivables delinquencies, and growth in local advertising markets. Total company backlog of equipment and services held steady from the prior quarter at $174 billion. Our Healthcare and Oil & Gas businesses experienced solid orders growth and our equipment and services backlog remains strong.
“Our business model is performing,” Immelt said. “We are expanding Industrial margins and realizing benefits from over two years of restructuring, while increasing investment in R&D to drive profitable organic growth."
Excluding the impact of the Olympics, Industrial margins improved to 14.7%, up 30 bps from a year ago, reflecting good performances at Energy, Healthcare and Home & Business Solutions. The company grew R&D investment by 16% in the first quarter and has a pipeline of new products and services. Cash generated from Industrial operating activities totaled $2.6 billion in the quarter, on track for $13-$15 billion this year. At quarter-end, GE had $70 billion of consolidated cash.
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