GE sees Latin American growth despite turbulence

By Reuters

Apr 10, 2015 11:00 AM EDT

General Electric Co projects revenue growth in the high single digits for Latin American in 2015 despite difficulties in major markets such as Brazil and Venezuela, the company's chief executive for the region said on Thursday.

"We probably will grow single digits this year in Brazil, which is a good performance considering this is probably going to be a difficult year," Reinaldo Garcia told Reuters on the sidelines of a Latin American business forum.

GE's Latin American revenues grew 7 percent in 2014 as it has nearly doubled its business in the region from four years ago.

GE has also nearly doubled the size of its operation in Brazil over the past four years, but the economy is under pressure as President Dilma Rousseff has sought austerity measures to cut Brazil's fiscal deficit and maintain the country's investment-grade credit rating.

In Venezuela, where GE participates in the oil sector and electricity generation, the business is likely to remain flat in 2015 after revenues of roughly $600 million in 2014.

"We'll probably do the same, maybe less, than last year," Garcia said.

Several speakers at the business forum have commented on Latin America's lack of infrastructure, which represents an opportunity for GE and is one reason Garcia maintains a positive outlook on the region.

"The continent has 600 million people with a growing middle class, rich in resources, full of infrastructure challenges," Garcia said. "We love this continent."

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