Berlin, Germany (4E) – Siemens AG, Europe’s biggest engineering firm, said its earnings for the fiscal first quarter topped analysts’ estimates as profit at the infrastructure unit more than doubled.
Net profit climbed nearly one-fifth to 1.43bn euros ($1.96bn) in the quarter through December. Earnings were hit by charges in the previous year. Siemens introduced a broad restructuring program in 2012 to boost profitability in order to catch up with competitors.
Chief Executive Joe Kaeser said that the company needs to focus on its productivity program.
Order intake rose 8.7 percent to 20.84bn euros at Siemens’ continuing operations, which largely came from big contracts for trains and wind turbines. Siemens won major orders for U.S. and Norwegian wind farms, and for Saudi Arabian subway trains. The increased orders should suggest rising future sales when Siemens delivers the goods.
The company affirmed its fiscal year guidance and said it expects basic per-share earnings to climb at least 15 percent, with the assumption that revenue continues to be stable, and orders to surpass sales.
The result indicates that the company’s business has improved under Mr. Kaeser, who previously served as the company’s financial chief. He was named CEO in August, replacing the ousted Peter Loescher, who repeatedly missed financial targets.