Ge Growth Up 18 Per Cent In Q4
Full-year 2004 earnings were $16.6 billion, up 6% from 2003 earnings before required accounting changes. Cash flow from GE’s operating activities (CFOA) in 2004 increased 18% to $15.2 billion. “GE had a tremendous fourth quarter and an excellent 2004, as we completed our strategic repositioning and returned to double-digit earnings growth in the quarter,” said GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt. “In the fourth quarter, nine of our 11 businesses delivered double-digit earnings growth. Industrial sales grew 19%, and our key financial services businesses ended the year with assets up 20% and improved overall portfolio quality. Total orders for the quarter increased 15% over last year, with growth across the board. We are benefiting from strong execution of our growth initiatives and an excellent global economy. “For the year, nine of our 11 businesses delivered at least double-digit earnings growth and we increased CFOA to $15.2 billion. We made major progress on our portfolio, exceeding our synergy goals for the Amersham and Universal acquisitions, adding capabilities to our water, security and key financial services units, and executing several dispositions, including the initial public offering of Genworth and the sale of 60% of Gecis, our global business processing operation. Revenues from our growth initiatives — in services and our new platforms, such as security and water — grew 12% and 17% respectively, and global revenues increased 16%. “As a result, we’re going into 2005 with excellent momentum,” Immelt said. “We are very confident about achieving 10-15% earnings growth with strong cash flow growth and sustaining this growth into 2006 as well.” GE Infrastructure highlight for Q4 — Announced two strategic acquisitions — Ionics, a global leader in desalination, and Edwards Systems Technology’s fire detection systems business — and completed a third, InVision Technologies, positioning Infrastructure for growth in the water and security industries. — Received certification from the U.S. Transportation Security Administration of its X-ray diffraction (XRD) system for identifying the chemical signatures of explosives on passenger-checked baggage, the first new technology certified by the TSA since 1994. — Successfully completed commercial testing for its tamper-evident sea container cargo-security system, which uses RFID (radio frequency identification) wireless technology embedded in a container’s walls to determine if it has been breached during transport. — Announced a strategic partnership with China Telecom, the leading company in the world’s largest telecommunications market, to create a new generation of advanced home security technology that will allow residents of China to communicate with their homes through the Internet and cellular phones.