Siemens beginning to close the gap on rivals

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ENGINEERING Group Siemens, which plans to create a major wind turbine factory in Hull, has posted a 15 per cent rise in quarterly profit and higher margins.

It is the first sign that chief executive Joe Kaeser is starting to close the gap with more profitable rivals.

Siemens, whose products range from gas turbines to trains and industrial automation software, reported a 15 per cent gain in core operating profit to 1.79bn euros in its financial first quarter ended December.

Siemens first-quarter profit margin rose to 10.2 per cent from 8.6 per cent the year before, largely due to lower project char- ges.

“We expect that the high one-off charges are in the past,” DZ Bank analyst Jasko Terzic said, adding that he expects Siemens to benefit from any coming economic recovery in Europe.

Analysts also cheered a nine per cent gain in quarterly new orders, which indicates a return to revenue growth, after Siemens signed a big contract to deliver subway trains to Saudi Arabia and won its biggest order for onshore wind power equipment ever from the United States.

Siemens plans to create a flagship £210m wind turbine factory at Hull’s docks which would create more than 700 jobs and potentially support thousands of others.

A Siemens spokesman said yesterday: “We continue to progress our plans for Green Port Hull.”