General Electric posted better-than-expected net earnings of $3.76 billion for the second quarter, citing a rise in demand, notably in international markets.
The profit was an increase of 21% over the same period last year, with earnings per share of 35 cents against analysts' forecasts of about 32 cents per share.
Total revenues were $35.63 billion, which were down 4% from the same period a year ago, due to the absence of NBC Universal after the sale of GE's majority position to Comcast, the storied firm said in a statement.
Excluding the sale of NBC, revenues were up 7%, it added.
"We are very encouraged by second-quarter orders and earnings momentum across the company," said GE Chairman Jeff Immelt. "We are optimistic about our growth prospects in the second half and beyond."
Immelt noted that with the Connecticut-based giant's fifth consecutive quarter of double-digit earnings growth, the company continued to "execute in a volatile environment," citing strong contributions from its once-troubled financial unit GE Capital.
Investment in its R&D arm was up 40% from a year ago, with tangible results, said GE, saying it meant a lead in "technology innovations, products and services that drive strong organic revenue growth and future margin expansion."
Leading that path was the GE Aviation unit and its joint ventures, which saw a record $27 billion in new-deal sales at the Paris Air Show in June.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011