19 January 2007 13:17 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS news)--GE's fourth quarter profits from plastics plunged 49% to $114m (€87.9m) on sales down 1% at $1.64bn, the company said on Friday.
Full year plastics profits were down 22% at $674m on sales up 1% at $6.65bn.
The business had suffered in 2006 from continued commodity inflation and competitive challenges, GE chief executive Jeff Immelt said in a statement.
GE has not confirmed speculation that its plastics unit is up for sale but the company has admitted the business was operating in a tough environment.
It could fetch as much as $10bn, analysts have suggested. Potential acquirers include major chemicals players and private equity.
GE's industrial segment, which includes plastics, consumer & industrial and equipment services businesses, produced Q4 profits 12% lower at $673m on sales down 5% at $8.04bn.
Industrial segment profits for the year were up 5% at $2.69bn on sales up 3% at $33.49bn.
GE's fourth quarter net earnings more than doubled to $6.58bn from $3.16bn. Fourth quarter sales were 11% higher at $44.62bn.
Full year net earnings were 25% higher at $20.83bn on sales up 10% at $163.39bn.
($1 = €0.77)
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