The German industrial giant Siemens suffered a setback on Wednesday when it posted poor fourth-quarter results. Net profit figures stood at €53 million ($53.3 million) in contrast to forecasts of €256 million, while sales came in at roughly €21 billion -- a 13 percent decline from last year.
In a statement, the company said it was expecting declining business volumes for 2003. "As the company doesn't expect significant improvement in overall economic conditions, the management anticipates declining business volume for Siemens in the coming year."
The group was also forced to put back its divisional earnings targets to 2004 from next year due to the difficult economic situation.