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Siemens earnings down 12 percent in its Q1

Wednesday - 1/23/2013, 5:20am  ET

BERLIN (AP) -- Earnings at industrial conglomerate Siemens AG declined 12 percent in the October-December quarter after the company took charges at its transport business and a solar power operation it is selling.

Siemens reported Wednesday net earnings of EUR1.21 billion ($1.6 billion) in its fiscal first quarter, down from EUR1.38 billion a year earlier. However, its revenue climbed 2 percent to EUR18.13 billion despite a 3 percent drop in orders to EUR19.14 billion.

"In an uncertain economic environment, we got off to a solid start in fiscal 2013," CEO Peter Loescher said. He cautioned that the global economy was unlikely to help out over the rest of the year to help the company reach its "ambitious goals."

In November, Siemens launched a cost-cutting program and productivity push aimed at saving EUR6 billion by 2014 and increasing competitiveness. Loescher said the company's "full attention is on implementing" the program.

During the October-December quarter, Siemens said it would sell its solar business and concentrate its renewable energy focus on wind and water power. Its first-quarter earnings were hit by a EUR150 million loss from the solar business and charges at its transport business totaled EUR116 million amid delays in the delivery of trains to Germany's national railway.

Siemens shares were slightly lower in early Frankfurt trading, slipping 0.4 percent to EUR83.33.

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