GE Healthcare's fourth-quarter profit, revenue up

GE announced Wednesday that fourth-quarter profit in its healthcare division increased 13 percent versus the prior-year period to $1.2 billion, "driven by higher volume and cost productivity." The company also posted 6 percent higher sales in the division at $5.4 billion.

CEO John Flannery, who took over from former chief executive Jeff Immelt in August, launching a broad corporate turnaround initiative focussed in part on healthcare, noted that the segment "had strong performances in the quarter."

The company reported that healthcare systems sales increased by 6 percent, while revenue from life sciences rose 7 percent. Healthcare orders in the quarter climbed 9 percent to $5.9 billion, with GE noting that orders were up 8 percent in developed markets, citing growth in the US and Europe. Meanwhile, orders in emerging markets increased 12 percent "on strength in China and the Middle East."

For the full year, GE Healthcare's profit grew 9 percent to $3.4 billion, while sales rose 5 percent versus 2016 to $19.1 billion.

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