Reuters logo
UPDATE 2-Siemens could still be interested in Alstom assets - source
July 6, 2015 / 2:35 PM / in 2 years

UPDATE 2-Siemens could still be interested in Alstom assets - source

* Sees portfolio changes slowing down

* Should reach lower end of profit guidance, depends on Q4

* Could still be interested in Alstom if assets become available (Releads with comments on portfolio change, adds details on Alstom, one-off charges)

By Georgina Prodhan

MUNICH, Germany, July 6 (Reuters) - Siemens could still be interested in buying power-generation assets from French rival Alstom on the same terms it offered a year ago if General Electric’s deal to buy them falls through, a senior management source said.

However, the Germany company sees the pace of change slowing down after a flurry of acquisitions, disposals and job cuts, the person added on Monday.

Chief Executive Joe Kaeser has transformed the Munich-based group since taking the helm almost two years ago, aiming to focus on core strengths in automation, electrification and mobility and close a profit gap with GE and other rivals.

It has made its biggest acquisition to date, buying U.S. oilfield equipment maker Dresser-Rand, shed businesses including hearing aids and household appliances, and carved out its healthcare business to make it an independent company.

Now, a period of bedding-down should be expected, said the senior manager, who asked not to be named.

The person also said that the kind of large, out-of-the-blue one-off charges that used to blight Siemens’ quarterly results were not on the cards this quarter.

Siemens has been criticised for paying too much for Dresser-Rand, which it is buying for $7.8 billion, when oil prices have been hammered by weak demand, a boom in cheap U.S. shale oil and now market turmoil over Greece and China.

The deal followed a setback for Siemens when it lost out to GE in a bid to buy Alstom’s gas turbines, after being asked by the French government to mount a rival bid.

Siemens had refused to part with its rail signalling business, which France had wanted to combine with Alstom‘s, and the person said only the same “constellation” would be of interest to Siemens now.

The GE-Alstom deal faces hurdles. GE met European regulators last week to allay worries its 12.4 billion euro ($13.7 billion) acquisition of Alstom’s power equipment business would leave Europe with only two gas turbine players.

SEEKING IMPROVEMENTS

The disposals Siemens has made have been welcomed by investors but analysts are now keen to see signs of operational improvements that will justify the restructuring.

Siemens expects flat sales this year, plus or minus 1-2 percent, and a rise of at least 15 percent in earnings per share, boosted by the disposals.

The senior manager said Siemens still expected to reach the lower end of its targeted 10 to 11 percent profit margin range for its industrial businesses this year, although much depended on the fiscal fourth quarter.

Next year, reported EPS is likely to fall as large disposals are unlikely, while sales should rise, at least relative to the market, the senior manager said.

The company will, however, no longer give guidance for group industrial profit from 2015/16 any longer, but will rely on the multi-year operational profit guidance ranges it gives for the individual businesses, the manager said.

Siemens shares were down 1.2 percent to 89.44 euros by 1430 GMT, broadly in line with the blue-chip DAX.

Siemens introduced the industrial profit margin target only this year, partly to ease benchmarking against rivals such as GE and Swiss ABB, whom it still lags in profitability.

But in future Siemens wants to be judged less as a conglomerate and more on the quality of its individual businesses, the senior manager said.

It will also continue to give sales and earnings-per-share guidance for the group, the person said.

Siemens declined to comment. (Reporting by Georgina Prodhan; Editing by David Holmes and Keith Weir)

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
0 : 0
  • narrow-browser-and-phone
  • medium-browser-and-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser
  • wide-browser-and-larger
  • medium-browser-and-landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser-and-larger
  • above-phone
  • portrait-tablet-and-above
  • above-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet-and-above
  • landscape-tablet-and-medium-wide-browser
  • portrait-tablet-and-below
  • landscape-tablet-and-below