Siemens sees profits soar, sales rise in Q1

Siemens yesterday said net income soared 91 per cent in the first quarter of its new fiscal year, pointing to the fact that all its divisions are now producing profits.

The German conglomerate reported net income of 625 million euros ($970 million) for the first quarter of its 2000 fiscal year, which ended on December 31, up from 327 million euros a year earlier.

That figure does not include a one-time gain of 974 million euros from the sale of some of its businesses and the initial public offering (IPO) of Epcos, Siemens said in a statement. Epcos was Siemens' former electronic parts and components division.

Earnings before tax and interest (EBIT) also soared 110 per cent, to 1 billion euros, up from 477 million euros last year.

Revenue rose 12 per cent, to 16.4 billion euros from 14.7 billion euros for the previous year. The growth came from sales outside of Germany. While revenue in its domestic market dropped by 5 per cent compared to the first quarter of fiscal 1999, it rose 18 per cent outside of Germany, Siemens said.

Infineon Technologies, formerly called Siemens' Semiconductor, saw a big turnaround compared to last year's losses, Siemens said. It increased both profit and revenue by around 70 per cent.

Siemens cited increased semiconductor demand, rising chip prices, a positive adjustment to the production of 64Mbit chips and healthy development of the logic chip business as reasons for the recovery. Infineon is slated to go public in March, selling between 25 and 30 per cent of its shares to the public.

The outlook also improved for some of Siemens' other IT-related businesses in its most recent first quarter. Siemens' Information and Communications (I&C) Networking Group increased revenue to 3 billion euros, up from 2.8 billion euros year on year. It also more than doubled its EBIT to 201 million euros, up from 82 million euros.

The I&C Products Group fared less well, seeing its revenue fall to 1.6 billion euros in the just-ended first quarter, down from 2.3 billion euros a year earlier. It was nonetheless able to increase its EBIT to 189 million euros, up from 43 million.

Siemens Business Services also increased revenue, to 980 million euros, up from 734 million euros. While SBS had a loss of 22 million euros in the first quarter of fiscal 1999, in the just-ended quarter it saw EBIT of 10 million euros.

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