January 22, 2013 / 8:11 AM / 5 years ago

Siemens first-quarter net profit tops forecast: paper

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German engineering conglomerate Siemens (SIEGn.DE) is set to report quarterly earnings that beat expectations, according to a newspaper report.

The company, due to publish financial results on Wednesday, made a net profit from continuing operations of about 1.3 billion euros ($1.7 billion) in its fiscal first quarter, little changed from a year earlier, daily Handelsblatt said on Tuesday, citing industry sources.

That would be better than analysts’ consensus forecast of 1.14 billion euros in a Reuters poll.

Siemens, an industrial bellwether that makes products ranging from fast trains and gas turbines to hearing aids, declined to comment on the report.

The Munich-based company has come under pressure to cut costs and focus on its most profitable businesses to close a gap with rivals such as ABB ABBN.VX and General Electric (GE.N).

It announced a 6-billion-euro savings program late last year, aiming to improve its margin on operating profit from its four core businesses - Industry, Energy, Healthcare and Infrastructure & Cities - to at least 12 percent from 9.5 percent in its last financial year.

It is also divesting its solar and water businesses and plans to spin off lighting unit Osram this year, while adding a rail business it bought from Invensys ISYS.L as well as industrial software companies such as Belgium’s LMS International.

    Handelsblatt said fiscal first-quarter results were weighed down by a triple-digit million euro hit related to delays in the delivery of ICE high-speed trains to German rail operator Deutsche Bahn DBN.UL. The exit from the solar business also had a negative impact, it said.

    Quarterly revenues remained flat from a year earlier at 17.9 billion euros, a tad below consensus of 18.1 billion euros, the paper said. New orders, an indicator of future revenues, were above sales, the paper added.

    Siemens has said it expects its order intake to grow moderately in the financial year ending in September, following a 10 percent drop last year, while revenues will be lower.

    ($1 = 0.7510 euros)

    Reporting by Ludwig Burger and Maria Sheahan; Editing by David Cowell and Mark Potter

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