GE sees weak 2010 revenue growth in key division

GUANGZHOU, China Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:38pm EST

GUANGZHOU, China (Reuters) - General Electric Co expects anemic revenue growth in 2010 for its technology infrastructure segment, as developed economies such as the United States and Europe remain mired in the economic downturn, a top executive said.

"We're not expecting a significant growth rate next year," John Rice, chief executive of GE's technology infrastructure division, told Reuters in an interview on the sidelines of an economic forum in Guangzhou on Thursday.

"It's as choppy a time and difficult to forecast as any I've ever seen," he said. "I'm certainly hopeful that by the end of next year we'll see more clarity in the developed markets."

Rice's division, which oversees the world's largest maker of jet engines and railroad locomotives, accounts for 39 percent of GE's profit across its five segments.

GE's size and the scope of its operations, which range from commercial lending to building railroad locomotives to running the NBC television network, make it a bellwether of the world economy.

Asked whether growth in developing markets such as China would offset weakness in the U.S. and European markets, Rice, also a vice-chairman of the largest U.S. conglomerate, said: "It will help, but likely not completely."

(Reporting by Sui-Lee Wee; Editing by Chris Lewis)

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