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Jet engines boost GE's earnings

General Electric notched a better-than-expected 22 per cent rise in earnings, helped by strong demand for jet engines as well as equipment used in oil and natural gas production.

The largest US conglomerate said its second-quarter results were helped by a rebound in sales of railroad locomotives, which offset weakening demand for wind turbines. With overall orders up 24 per cent, pushing the company's backlog to $189bn (£115.86bn), chief executive Jeffrey Immelt said he was confident about the rest of the year.

The world's largest maker of jet engines and electric turbines said second-quarter profit attributable to common shareholders rose to $3.69bn from $3.03bn a year earlier.

Revenue fell 3.5 per cent to $35.6bn, reflecting the sale of a majority stake in GE's NBC Universal business to Comcast.