24 Jan 2009

GE profit down 44%

10:46 am on 24 January 2009

General Electric Co has reported a 44% drop in quarterly profit and warned that 2009 would be "extremely difficult."

The fall is due to weakness at GE Capital and its lighting and appliance units

Shares in GE were down nearly 11% on Friday.

Profit at GE Capital was down 67%. However, GE's energy infrastructure unit, which makes electric turbines and windmills, was a highlight, recording 11% profit growth.

Fourth-quarter net income for the 117 year old US conglomerate fell to $US3.72 billion from $US6.7 billion a year earlier. Revenue fell 4.8% to $US46.21 billion.

The company sharply lowered the upper end of its fourth-quarter profit forecast in early December.