MUNICH, Germany Siemens shareholders urged Chief Executive Joe Kaeser to press forward with reworking the engineering group which made its finest annual working revenue to this point final yr and raised its earnings forecasts.
As unknown dangers loom from the protectionist insurance policies of recent U.S. President Donald Trump, Kaeser cautioned that the German firm couldn’t afford to be complacent, whereas basking in a uncommon glow of shareholder approval on the group’s annual assembly as the corporate’s shares jumped to a 17-year excessive on Wednesday.
“I admit we don’t always succeed in everything. And risks lurk everywhere. But we have noticeably improved,” Kaeser stated.
Siemens raised its earnings forecasts on Tuesday after its industrial enterprise revenue jumped in its fiscal first quarter, lifted by its manufacturing unit automation unit.
Asked concerning the dangers and alternatives arising from Trump’s election, Kaeser sounded clearly extra involved than three months in the past when he had urged folks to “give Trump a chance”.
“The new American president has a style that’s different from what we’re accustomed to,” he informed a information convention forward of the AGM. “It worries us, what we see.”
Kaeser has made multi-billion-dollar bets on oil and fuel, wind energy and industrial software program whereas shedding the final of Siemens’ client companies since taking up as CEO of Europe’s prime engineering group in 2013.
Many of those, particularly oil and fuel, rely on the United States, Siemens’ largest single market the place it makes 21 % of its income and employs 50,000 folks.
The former finance chief now plans to checklist Siemens’ healthcare operations.
The chief government has cemented the ability he gained in a boardroom coup, seeing off veteran managers corresponding to Siegfried Russwurm — who gave a tough stare from the stage as Kaeser wished “Siggi” all the most effective for the long run.
In the most recent change, Chairman Gerhard Cromme introduced he deliberate handy over subsequent yr to 51-year-old former SAP co-CEO Jim Hagemann Snabe after a decade in workplace, marking a transfer to a extra software-oriented period.
Kaeser has additionally banished, no less than for now, the massive one-off expenses for poor challenge danger administration that plagued Siemens up to now – serving to it attain a document working revenue of eight.74 billion euros ($9.43 billion) in its final fiscal yr.
“We want the last, strong financial year not to remain an exception but to represent the new normal at Siemens. The old Siemens disease must never break out again,” fund supervisor Ingo Speich of Union Investment, the 12th-largest shareholder in Siemens, informed the AGM in Munich.
Speich praised the share-price efficiency of Siemens, which has risen by a 3rd over the previous yr, outperforming the German blue-chip DAX in addition to rival General Electric – whose shares rose simply 5 % in the identical interval – though lagging Rockwell Automation’s 60 % leap.
Siemens shares jumped an extra 4.9 % to a 17-year excessive of 122 euros on Wednesday after the trains-to-turbines group raised its revenue forecast.
Siemens’ raised revenue outlook remains to be seen by some analysts as conservative, however executives warned that political uncertainty was working towards a lot of its companies, particularly these requiring giant, long-term investments.
“Price pressure is intense,” Chief Financial Officer Ralf Thomas informed journalists of the Power and Gas enterprise, whose orders dropped 40 % final quarter. “We have to fight for every order.”
(Reporting by Georgina Prodhan; Editing by Keith Weir)