Profits increase at GE for 2013 First Quarter

General Electric, the largest industrial conglomerate by market capitalization in the U.S. announced its profits had increased by 14% during the first quarter of 2013. That increase was obtained even though the company’s results in Europe ended the quarter with worse numbers that originally anticipated.

GE’s earnings equaled 35 cents a share, which was an increase of 17% and in line with Wall Street expectations. GE announced that the emerging economies and the U.S. demand were in line with what it had expected, but that Europe continued to fall as its economic crisis grew deeper. The industrial businesses sector of GE saw its revenue drop by 17%.

Jeff Immelt, the group’s CEO said the water as well as power divisions of GE suffered during the quarter. A great deal of pressure, said Immelt, was placed on the water and power division in Europe. Due to that, the margins at the company had been impacted on a negative basis.

Revenues in the same water and power sector dropped by close to 26% and profits for GE in that sector plummeted by 30%.

Overall profits for the entire group were $3.5 billion or an increase of 14% over the same quarter one year ago. In part, that was due to the strong showing in the aero-engines group, which increased by 9% with more than $936 million.

The CEO said the first half of 2013 would prove difficult for water and power in part because of comparing it to last year’s first six months when there was a big uptick for wind turbines as many were worried that tax credits would be lost if orders were not placed prior to them expiring.