Siemens says to cut 7,800 jobs in drive to cut costs
German engineering giant Siemens said Friday it was slashing 7,800 jobs worldwide, more than 3,000 of them in Germany, as part of an ongoing restructuring plan aimed at saving about one billion euros.
"In a drive to streamline administrative and overhead functions, about 7,800 jobs are to be cut worldwide, including some 3,300 in Germany, " the company, which employs more than 300,000 staff, said in a statement.
Chief executive Joe Kaeser unveiled a mass streamlining plan in May 2014 aimed at dramatically reducing both the number of divisions and hierarchy levels within the industrial group by 2016.
Job cuts had been expected under the restructuring plan but the group had given no indication of the number, saying it wanted to first hold talks with staff representatives, which took place this week.
"These steps will bring our businesses closer to our customers and make us significantly faster," Kaeser said in the statement.
Siemens' new labour director Janina Kugel said the company wanted to start talks with employee representatives about the cuts in Germany as soon as possible and "search constructively for socially responsible solutions".
Siemens is seeking to boost its profitability by focusing on certain divisions, such as energy, medical equipment and digitalised systems for industry and transport.
Last year the German giant tried to buy Alstom's energy assets but lost out to its long-time rival, US group General Electric.
It has since snapped up several other companies in this field, however.
The restructuring plan aims to produce savings of about one billion euros ($1.2 bilion) "which will be realised in large measure by the end of 2016", it said.
"The savings achieved will be invested in innovation, productivity and growth initiatives, a considerable part of which will be in Germany," it said.
Press reports on Thursday had indicated a similar figure for the job losses, sending Siemens shares up slightly at closing on the Frankfurt stock exchange. They were down by just over one percent to 95.29 euros in slightly lower trading Friday.
Last month, Siemens, which runs its business from October to September, said that net profit fell by 25 percent to 1.095 billion euros ($1.2 billion) in the first three months, weighed down by costs from halting some activities and falling oil prices.
But the group said it was sticking to its full-year outlook.
© 2015 AFP