Siemens says it will book huge charge in healthcare unit

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The German industrial group Siemens said late Tuesday that it would book a charge of up to 1.4 billion euros (1.86 billion dollars) in its healthcare diagnostics division.

"This impairment is being made in connection with a reevaluation of medium-term growth prospects and long-term market developments of the laboratory diagnostics business," a statement added.

The charge, which will be taken in Siemens' fourth quarter, which runs from July through September, would not however prevent the group from hitting annual targets, it said.

For the 2009/10 fiscal year, Siemens forecast a fall in sales but an operating profit in its three main sectors, energy, industry and medical, of more than the 2008/09 figure of 7.47 billion euros.

© 2010 AFP

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