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Siemens’ earnings jump pleases markets

Published on 22/01/2004

22 January 2004

MUNICH – German electronics and engineering conglomerate Siemens surprised markets Thursday with a 39 percent jump in December-quarter post-tax earnings to EUR 726 million.

Siemens held to its earnings forecast for the year ending this 30 September, saying it expected full-year earnings to rise by at least 10 percent after a solid first quarter.

Chief executive Heinrich von Pierer said in Munich that earnings “could rise by a double-digit percent number”, while he also expected sales to grow.

However, the forecast was contingent on there being no worsening of economic conditions including exchange rate risks. He added that the proviso was not intended in any way as a profits warning.

“I’m very pleased,” said Pierer of the figures for the first quarter of Siemen’s business year, which beat analysts’ forecasts.

Siemens stock lifted 1.2 percent to EUR 68.00 on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange after the figures were announced.

Sales for the quarter were down 3 percent to EUR 18.3 billion, but company accountants attributed this to the fall of the dollar. Had the dollar remained steady, sales in euro terms would have been 2 percent higher.

All company divisions apart from Dematic, which automates industrial processes, were in the black for the quarter.

Even ICN, the company’s networking division, managed to turn a profit of EUR 51 million, well clear of its loss of EUR 151 million in the matching quarter of the previous business year.

Subject: German news