Charges push Siemens to US$545 mil. fiscal Q4 loss


BERLIN — Hefty one-time charges pushed Siemens AG to a loss in the July-September quarter, but a recovering global economy fueled a healthy rise in new orders and earnings for the company’s full fiscal year increased, the industrial conglomerate said Thursday. Siemens said it lost 396 million euros (US$545 million) in its fiscal fourth quarter, still better than a shortfall of 1.06 billion euros a year earlier. At the same time, revenue was up 8 percent to 21.23 billion euros from 19.71 billion euros, and new orders climbed by a quarter, rising to 23.47 billion euros from 18.75 billion euros. The strongest order growth of 40 percent came from the company’s energy division, as global energy markets improved and more large orders were received, Siemens said. “We are coming out of the economic downturn with full momentum,” CEO Peter Loescher said. “Our growth is gaining speed.” Siemens, based in Munich, makes everything from light bulbs to trams and turbines for power stations. The company already had said in September that it would take a charge of up to 1.4 billion euros to reflect revised growth prospects at its health care diagnostics business. On Thursday, Siemens said it had taken a 1.2 billion euros charge — in addition to charges of 383 million euros in charges to complete staff cuts at its information technology unit. The company’s sectors, or operating, profit for the quarter was down 45 percent at 1.06 billion euros from 1.92 billion euros. For the full fiscal year, however, it was up 4 percent to 7.79 billion euros from 7.47 billion euros. Full-year net profit came in at 4.07 billion euros — up 63 percent from 2.5 billion euros in 2008/2009. Revenue was down to 75.98 billion euros, a 1 percent slip, but new orders rose 3 percent to 81.16 billion euros from 78.99 billion euros. Loescher said in a statement that Siemens expects to “take this positive momentum into the next fiscal year.”