General Electric Co. (IW 500/5) trimmed costs and grew sales despite a slowing global economy to push up earnings 8.3% in the third quarter, the company announced Friday.

The manufacturer of aircraft engines, locomotives, wind turbines and a broad range of other heavy industrial products earned $3.49 billion in the quarter, compared with $3.22 billion a year earlier.

Sales were up 6.1%, to $24.5 billion, while costs grew just 2.2%.

Income growth was spread evenly between the company's manufacturing operations and its financial services division GE Capital, where net earnings rose 7.8% to $1.6 billion.

GE said all of its industrial divisions had positive earnings growth for the first time in seven years.

Its order book was mixed: Infrastructure orders were 5% lower, due mainly to a fall in wind turbine demand, but other infrastructure segments remained strong.

The company said that despite a challenging global environment, it is "on track to deliver double-digit earnings growth in 2012" in both its industrial and GE Capital groups.

"The global economy is uncertain, and we are prepared for a variety of economic outcomes," said CEO Jeffrey Immelt.

"We will continue to invest to win in our markets, while aggressively managing our overall cost structure."

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012