GE Healthcare's fourth-quarter, full-year profit, revenue fall

GE Healthcare announced Friday that its fourth-quarter profit dropped 8 percent versus the prior-year period to $938 million, as sales fell 3 percent to $5 billion. Meanwhile, full-year profit in 2015 slipped 5 percent to $2.9 billion, as revenue declined 4 percent to $17.6 billion. The company noted that it is positioning its portfolio for "a stronger 2016."

In the quarter, GE Healthcare said that orders decreased 4 percent to $5.2 billion, which included a 5-percent drop in equipment orders to $3.2 billion and a 2-percent fall in service orders to $2 billion. The company reported that quarterly orders in the US fell 1 percent and China dropped 6 percent, while orders from Europe and emerging markets were each down 8 percent year-over-year.

Commenting on the company's overall performance, CEO Jeffrey Immelt remarked that "GE executed well in a slow-growth environment," adding that the first few weeks of 2016 have been "especially volatile." However, Immelt said he was confident that GE was still on track to meet its growth goals for the year.

Earlier this month, GE Healthcare chief executive John L. Flannery said the company is moving its corporate headquarters from the UK to Chicago in the first half of this year. At the time, the executive noted the move "puts us closer to our customers in the US," adding that he chose Chicago because it is "a great hub for travel" and has a strong healthcare sector.

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