Sales in the major appliances segment at General Electric climbed 7 percent in the first quarter, hitting $3.1 billion, up from $2.9 billion in the first quarter of 2003.
Known as the Consumer and Industrial segment, GE's majap business was among nine of 11 corporate segments to report double-digit improvements to earnings. The majap segment recorded a 16 percent profit in the first quarter, ended March 31, reaching $149 million, compared with $128 million in the year-ago period.
The Consumer and Industrial segment also includes light bulbs, along with majaps, but GE does not break out individual sales figures for either of these product categories.
GE did say it increased unit sales of high-end Profile and Monogram majaps 20 percent and 11 percent, respectively, during the first quarter, compared with the same three months in 2003.
GE's Commercial Finance segment, which administers warranties and offers financing to retailers, reported first quarter revenue of $5.4 billion, an increase of 13 percent over the $4.8 billion reported in the year-ago period. Segment profit climbed 10 percent in the three months, to $955 million, from $870 million year-on-year.
The company's Consumer Finance segment, which is involved in credit card operations, recorded revenue of $3.6 billion in the first quarter, a 30 percent increase over the $2.8 billion reported in the same three months in 2003. Segment profit climbed 10 percent, reaching $602 million, compared with $546 million year-over year.
Consolidated first quarter GE sales increased 10 percent, rising to $33.4 billion, up from $30.5 billion year-on-year. Consolidated net earnings rose 8 percent in the first quarter, to $3.2 billion from $3 billion a year ago, when the company recorded a non-cash transition charge of $215 million.