Fujitsu Siemens sees profit, focuses on mobility

After surviving periods of "shock and hype" and passing through a "valley of tears," Fujitsu Siemens Computers BV is in a "growth and profit phase," company President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Paul Stodden said here Thursday. Stodden, who joined Fujitsu Siemens in April last year, said the company experienced a "tremendous turnaround" in the second half of its first full fiscal year ending March 31.

In the first half of the year the German-Japanese PC and server maker rang up a 109 million euros (US$97.6 million) pre-tax loss. For the last half of the year, a profit of "over 30 million euros" for operations in the six-month period is expected. Revenue for the current year is expected to hit 6 billion euros. For next year Fujitsu Siemens predicts it will be profitable with 6.6 billion euros in revenue.

Stodden announced a realignment of the company's focus, to mobile systems and business-critical computing. The company expects its mobile PC business to grow 48 percent next year. Enterprise sales are expected to grow 29 percent. Fujitsu Siemens -- formed mid-1999 -- is one of Europe's largest PC makers.

"We are looking to develop products to support people at work, at home and on the road," said Stodden, noting that the company has a 9 billion euro research and development budget, furnished by corporate parents Siemens AG and Fujitsu Ltd.

"Mobile PC sales continue to boom, in the retail as well as the corporate sector," Stodden said.

Fujitsu Siemens won't limit itself to notebook computers; the company showed a PDA (personal digital assistant) MultiMobile powered by Microsoft's Pocket PC and boasting a GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) module supporting GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) from Siemens. Fujitsu Siemens will sell the product on the enterprise market; Siemens will handle the retail channel. Test units will be available in June, with volume shipping shortly after that. Prices have yet to be set.

"Corporate customers are asking for mobile products. We are merely responding to the demand," said Peter Jilek, executive vice-president enterprise products at Fujitsu Siemens, explaining the company's new focus. Half of Fujitsu Siemens' business comes from large corporate clients.

Fujitsu Siemens' final results are expected in April. The company is not listed, and there are currently no plans for a listing, said Stodden.

Fujitsu Siemens, in Bad Homburg, Germany, can be reached via the Web at http://www.fujitsu-siemens.com/.

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