While the Comcast-NBC Universal deal is supposed to close next week now that it has received FCC approval, NBCU’s fourth quarter revenue rose to $4.8 billion (up 12%), and profit saw a 38% gain to $830 million powered by a Big Media-wide advertising rebound that boosted the bottom line across the company. NBC-Universal’s quarterly and yearly performance was announced as part of the latest General Electric results. GE boss Jeff Immelt called the strong fourth quarter “a pretty good precursor” for 2011, citing the bounce-back in the economy as a main factor for continued growth. “The environment continues to improve,” he said. “We think the economy can get a little stronger every day.” GE will give up its majority stake in the company when the Comcast deal closes next Friday but its bottom line still will be affected. For NBCU, the cable and broadcast sides were strong: Cable revenues grew 15%, and the broadcast side’s revenues grew 11%. Even though the quarter was robust, the year was still saw, as profit stood at $2.26 billion. NBC-U’s parent company, General Electric, posted net earnings of $4.46 billion, up from $2.94 billion last year. Quarterly revenues were almost flat at $41.4 billion. GE does expect a heavy tax rate in 2011, due to gains from the sale of NBC-U to Comcast. Immelt himself has a new additional role: he’s just been named by President Obama to head the new White House Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.
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