Fairfield, Conn. — Although revenue for the consumer products segment at General Electric was flat for the fourth quarter, this division — which includes major appliances — delivered double-digit earnings growth in the three months.
GE’s consumer products segment recorded revenue of $2.23 billion in the fourth quarter, ended Dec. 31, a slight increase over the $2.22 billion registered in the year-earlier three months. Majap segment profit, on the other hand, soared 19 percent, hitting $166 million in the fourth quarter, up from $139 million in the year-ago period.
For the 12 months, GE’s majap segment revenue dipped 2 percent, sliding to $8.3 billion, down from $8.5 billion in 2002. Profit for the 12 months in the majap division, again reported double-digit gains, climbing to $557 million, compared with $495 million a year earlier.
Consolidated GE fourth quarter revenue rose 4 percent, hitting $37 billion, up from $35.5 billion in the same three months in 2002.
Consolidated net earnings for the quarter reached $4.6 billion, compared with $3.1 billion a year earlier, a 47 percent jump. However, quarterly comparisons were affected by the 2002 after-tax charge of $1.4 billion recorded at Employers Reinsurance and, in 2003, lower earnings from the power systems segment and lower non-cash earnings from the company’s U.S. pension plans. Excluding these items, overall fourth quarter earnings in 2003 grew 11 percent.
For the 12 months, consolidated GE revenue edged up 1 percent, to $134.2 billion, compared with $132.2 billion the previous year. Net earnings increased 105 percent for the year, reaching $7.4 billion, compared with the year-earlier $3.6 billion.