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The Connecticut-based giant, whose products range from aircraft engines to home appliances, said it would raise its shareholder dividend as profits rose 80 per cent.
"As today's results show, GE has emerged from the recession a stronger, more competitive company," GE CEO Jeff Immelt said in a statement.
"GE Healthcare, Transportation and Aviation delivered strong results," he said.
"GE Capital also had a strong first quarter, earning $1.8 billion after tax," Immelt added, noting a significant threshold crossed for the troubled financial unit.
"With losses having peaked, we are originating new business at attractive margins and our funding costs continue to be favorable."