General Electric said today that its net income rose 16% in the first quarter.

It was helped by improved profit from selling aircraft engines and transportation equipment and a gain from its sale of NBC Universal.

General Electric reported net income of $3.5 billion, or 34 cents per share, on revenue of $35 billion. During last year's first quarter, GE earned $3 billion on $35.2 billion in revenue.

The company said that orders for oil and gas equipment rose 24% in the quarter. Orders for aviation equipment rose 47%.

But GE said deteriorating economic conditions in Europe dragged down results, especially in sales of power and water equipment.