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GE profits fall 49pc

WASHINGTON, Jul 17- US conglomerate General Electric said Friday profits in the past quarter fell 49 percent from a year ago to 2.68 billion dollars.

The company, which makes aircraft engines, energy equipment and owns the NBC Universal media group, remained profitable in all its segments, including its struggling finance unit.

"In a global economic environment that continues to remain challenging, GE delivered solid second-quarter business results," GE chairman and chief executive Jeff Immelt said.

"We are executing through the recession by aggressively controlling costs and driving working capital improvements while continuing to invest for future growth," he added.

"At the same time, we are actively maintaining our backlog, focusing on higher-margin services and continuing to run our financial services business for safety and soundness. We continue to position GE to win in a reset economy."

The profit amounted to 26 cents per share, three cents better than expected by Wall Street, on revenues of 26 billion dollars, a 17 percent drop from a year ago.

GE Capital Finance, the credit arm rocked by the global financial crisis, saw its profit fall 80 percent from a year ago to 590 million dollars and Immelt said it "remains on track to be profitable for the full year."

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