GE Healthcare posts 17 percent revenue hike in Q1
Revenues at GE Healthcare increased to $2.5 billion in the first quarter of 2004, compared with $2.1 billion in the first quarter of 2003.

The company credited growth of 22 percent in ultrasound orders to approximately $200 million and 48 percent growth in positron emission tomography (PET) orders to more than $100 million for spurring the overall advance over the year-ago quarter.

Total orders increased 15 percent to $2.4 billion in the first quarter, while global service orders gained 11 percent over the year-ago quarter to $1.2 billion.

Geographically, orders in China gained 15 percent to $120 million in the first quarter. With the addition of Amersham plc, GE Healthcare Technologies President and CEO Joseph M. Hogan, estimated that the combined entity will reach $700 million in revenues in China this year.

Speaking with Health Imaging News, Hogan added that the growth in China, as well as increased ultrasound and PET business, helped offer what he described as "some slowness in the U.S. marketplace around CT and MR."

He noted that the CT and MR marketplaces are "taking a good look at those modalities to see what they [providers] need from a capacity standpoint. I also feel there is some uncertainty and strategizing around the next level of CT."

GE Healthcare plans to introduce a 64-slice CT scanner into the market in the fourth quarter. In the first quarter, GE received FDA clearance for its LightSpeed VCT system, which features 64-slice detector technology.

As for potential MRI system buyers, Hogan said they are evaluating whether to make an investment in a three-tesla or 1.5-tesla magnet.