General Electric Co expects profit to be flat at its big industrial units next year as the world economy begins to recover from a brutal economic downturn.

We've positioned the company for solid earnings growth and cash flow growth in the future, Jeff Immelt, chief executive of the largest U.S. conglomerate told investors in New York on Tuesday. When we look at the near term, it's going to take investment, organic investment, to drive growth.

The world's biggest maker of jet engines and electricity producing turbines expects total revenue to be flat next year as well, with growth in service revenue offsetting weaker equipment revenue.

GE last year stopped giving Wall Street per-share profit forecasts, instead providing a framework of how it expects its various units to perform. Last week it told investors it looks for flat 2010 profit at its GE Capital finance arm.

The worst is behind us in financial services, Immelt said.

Analysts, on average, expect 2010 profit of 89 cents per share, compared with forecast earnings of 99 cents per share this year, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

(Reporting by Scott Malone; editing by Gunna Dickson)