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GE looks to exit appliance business


FAIRFIELD, Conn. General Electric said it is looking to exit its appliance business, citing a troubled United States economy for its slower growth in the past five years. The company is currently considering three possibilities for the unit: a strategic partnership or joint venture; spin off; or the sale of the business.

“This review is consistent with the strategy we have been executing to transform our portfolio for long-term growth, “ GE chairman and ceo Jeff Immelt said. “Since 2003 we have exited slower growth and more volatile businesses, generating $52 billion in gross proceeds from dispositions. These proceeds have been reinvested into a transformed portfolio of faster growth, higher margin businesses, stock buybacks and other restructuring activities.

The more-than-100-year-old GE Appliances business is mainly a U.S. business, and as such its profits are connected with the performance of a single market, Immelt added.

GE reported first quarter 2008 earnings from continuing operations were $4.4 billion, down 12% from $4.9 billion in the first quarter of 2007.

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