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Siemens boosts outlook

February 1, 2017

The German industrial conglomerate has reported a 25-percent rise in quarterly net profit, boosting full-year earnings and improving the outlook for 2017. But the firm fears for its US business because of Donald Trump.

München Siemens Zentrale
Image: Getty Images/AFP/C. Stache

Net profit in the three months to the end of December climbed to 1.91 billion euros ($2.05 billion) from 1.53 billion euros in the same period a year earlier, Siemens reported on Wednesday, as revenues for the quarter had increased one percent to 19.12 billion euros.

The company's chief executive (CEO) Joe Kaeser said Siemens would continue to "rigorously execute" its far-reaching restructuring program, called Vision 2020, which includes healthier operating margins.

The Munich-based company now expects margins of between 11 percent and 12 percent for its current fiscal year ending in September - up from a previous outlook of between 10.5 percent to 11.5 percent.

Moreover, it has raised its full-year earnings forecast per share to 7.20 euros to 7.70 euros ($7.77 to $8.30), compared with its previous goal of 6.80 to 7.20 euros, on the back of "modest" growth in revenue.

"With a strong first quarter and a considerably raised outlook for fiscal 2017, we are sending a clear signal," Joe Kaeser said at the group's annual shareholders' meeting in Munich on Wednesday.

Fears of Trump

However, Kaeser also said he expected economic headwinds, including unfavorable foreign exchange rates and limited economic growth and investments because of a "complex geopolitical environment."

This would include current developments in the United States marked by a strong protectionist trade policy pursued by US president Donald Trump. Kaeser said he was concerned by "rhetoric that he hasn't associated with the United States so far."

The Siemens CEO also said it would be "sad" if Donald Trump dropped the United States' traditional values such as freedom, openness to the world and a willingness to integrate people with different religions and backgrounds.

The United States is Siemens' biggest market, generating annual revenue of about $22 billion last year. In 2016, the company invested $30 billion in its 60 factories there, employing about 50,000 Americans.

uhe/jd (dpa, AFP)