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GE Q4 Majap Sales, Profit Drop

1/17/2003 09:29:00 AM Eastern

Fairfield, Conn. - General Electric's major appliances business edged downward 3 percent in the fourth quarter, with sales reaching $1.5 billion, compared with $1.6 billion in the fourth quarter of 2001.

Operating profit in GE's major appliances business dipped even further in the fourth quarter, ending Dec. 31, dropping 5 percent, to $122 million, compared with $128 million in the year-ago period. Profit excludes any goodwill amortization and accounting changes as well as interest or other financial charges and income taxes.

For the 12 months, GE major appliances moved to the positive side of the sales ledger, with the category climbing 5 percent, and accounting for $6.1 billion in sales, up from $5.8 billion in the same 12 months in 2001.

Major appliances operating profit took an even heftier leap, hitting $451 million for the 12-month period, an increase of 11 percent over the $406 million recorded in the same timeframe the previous year.

Consolidated GE revenue for the fourth quarter rose 4 percent, hitting $35.4 billion, up from $34 billion year over year. However, fourth quarter net earnings slid 21 percent, reaching $3.1 billion, compared with $3.9 billion in 2001. The company took a large charge at its troubled reinsurance unit.

For the 12 months, consolidated GE revenue climbed 5 percent, to $131.7 billion, up from $125.9 billion for the same period in 2001. Net earnings for the year rose 3 percent, reaching $14.1 billion, compared with $13.7 billion year over year.

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