October 11, 2012 - 10:52 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Germany's Siemens may outline job cuts and office closures on Thursday, Oct 11, to stop profits sliding as customers put off ordering engineering equipment because of Europe's economic crisis. Reuters reported.
Chief Executive Peter Loescher's strategy of boosting growth with energy-saving and infrastructure products has not worked and analysts expect him to present managers with a plan of up to 4 billion euros ($5.2 billion) in savings.
Loescher took office in 2007 when the company was embroiled in a bribery scandal, shed some assets and invested in growth areas. Last year, he said annual sales would rise to 100 billion euros in a few years, up from about 76 billion in 2010.
But growth has not kept up with the pace of investment as the global economy has taken longer than expected to recover. Siemens reported a big drop in new orders in July, putting pressure on Loescher to take action.
The first company outsider to take the helm in Siemens' 160-year history, Loescher says his strategy is not wrong but it will just take some more time for the economy to recover.
Analysts expect him to announce between 2 billion and 4 billion euros in savings when he speaks to 600 managers in Berlin, some of whom may lose their jobs in the program.
He may tackle a gap between Siemens' handful of market-leading businesses and its underperforming units - wind and solar power as well as the new Infrastructures & Cities unit, possibly by divesting some assets. He may also shut offices in some of the 190 countries where Siemens operates to focus on the few that make the most profits, Reuters says.
Details of the savings plan, which German media said may include thousands of job cuts, will be published when Siemens releases financial results on Nov 8.
At the end of June, Siemens had 410,000 employees, of whom 129,000 were based in Germany, making it one of Germany's biggest employers after Volkswagen and Deutsche Post DHL.