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Business

Despite Financial Gloom, Siemens Reports Earnings Increase

Despite the overall financial gloom, German engineering giant Siemens got off to a good start in the new year. The company reported an earnings increase Tuesday, Jan. 27, while expressing a bit of cautious optimism.

Peter Loescher, CEO of Siemens

Siemens CEO Peter Loescher was happy to announce a good start to the year

Earnings for the first quarter climbed 7 percent from a year ago to 19.6 billion euros ($25.6 billion), the company said at the start of its annual general meeting.

Profit in the energy, industry and health sectors rose 20 percent to two billion euros in the financial year ending in September, although net income slumped from 6.4 billion euros to 1.2 billion euros.

This was because a year earlier the net income figure included 5.4 billion euros in income from discontinued operations related to Siemens VDO Automotive.

"Siemens got off to a good start in fiscal 2009, including better order development than most of our competitors in the first quarter," chief executive Peter Loescher said.

"Revenue increased strongly ... Total sectors' profit clearly exceeded the prior-year level. Therefore we are sticking to our 2009 targets, even though reaching them has become more ambitious."

While we are closely monitoring market conditions on a quarterly basis, we are progressing through the year strong, confident and focused," he said.

On the downside, new orders dropped eight percent from last year's record level to 22.2 billion euros.

The market reacted positively to the figures, with Siemens shares up 2.8 percent to 44.75 euros in morning treading on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

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