GE Wind eyes double-digit growth rates in 2010

HANOVER, Germany Tue Apr 21, 2009 10:00pm BST

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HANOVER, Germany (Reuters) - General Electric unit GE Wind, a maker of wind turbines, expects to return to double-digit growth rates in 2010, after being flat in 2009, the head of GE Wind's German business said on Tuesday.

GE Wind's European business is expected to double this year thanks to the launch of new products, Rainer Broering told Reuters on the sidelines of the Hanover industry fair.

This would compensate for a decline in the U.S. business, he said.

General Electric Co, the U.S. industrial conglomerate, which makes everything from light bulbs to jet engines, has been battered by the financial crisis and decided to stop providing specific per-share profit forecasts when it reported a 36 percent drop in net income on April 17.

Broering said he is counting on planned investments by the Obama administration in the renewable energy sector for GE Wind's growth. GE Wind has a market share of 45 percent in the United States, he said.

German wind turbine maker Nordex expects sales in the United States to climb significantly in 2009, its chief executive told Reuters on Tuesday.

In 2010, GE Wind would also overtake Denmark's Vestas as the world's biggest wind power equipment producer, Broering said, possibly helped by acquisitions.

Georg Knoth, head of GE Wind's German speaking regions, said: "We are watching the industry and will strike when it makes sense."

Turkey and Poland in particular offered opportunities to grow, he said.

Shares in GE closed up 3 percent, or 35 cents, to end the day's trade on the New York Stock Exchange at $11.70.

(Reporting by Arno Schuetze, editing by Leslie Gevirtz)

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