June 19, 2018 / 2:29 PM / a year ago

Siemens CEO dismisses report of large turbines unit sell-off

FILE PHOTO - Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser speaks at the annual session of China Development Forum (CDF) 2018 at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China March 26, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee

ZURICH (Reuters) - Siemens (SIEGn.DE) Chief Executive Joe Kaeser dismissed a report the German engineering company was considering selling off its struggling large turbines business as “media speculation” on Tuesday.

The Munich-based company is considering various strategic options, including selling the business or combining it with a rival, Bloomberg reported last week.

Kaeser said Siemens planned to improve the unit’s performance but declined to say directly if he wanted to keep it.

“This is media speculation and in our view there is no need to comment on media speculation,” Kaeser told Reuters on the sidelines of an event in Zurich.

“We know what we are doing. We have a clear commitment we are going to make good on. We are actually doing much better than the competition and this is a good thing.”

The large turbines business is part of Siemens Power & Gas division, where profit plunged by 74 percent during the second quarter.

Large turbines, which make up about 35 percent of the division’s sales according to estimates by Barclays, have been hit by falling demand as customers switch to renewable energy sources.

Siemens in March cut its 2018 forecast for the large market by 10 percent to 100 units from its previous forecast of 110 units, while board member Lisa Davis said in May she saw no signs of a medium-term recovery.

Reporting by John Revill; editing by Tom Sims and David Evans

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