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Siemens targets 'more difficult'

SIEMENS chief financial officer Joe Kaeser said it will be more difficult for Europe's largest engineering company to meet financial targets set for 2012 as demand tapers off at some industrial automation units and Chinese growth fails to pick up.

"Unfortunately, what we have been seeing in the past eight weeks was that short-cycle businesses are being considerably weaker than we have been originally thinking," he said yesterday. "It's going to be quite a rocky road to meet the targets for 2012."

Mr Kaeser said China will remain weak this year, depressing sales to one of the biggest customers of Siemens's high-speed trains, factory gear and turbines. Chinese growth has slowed, prompting the central bank to cut borrowing costs for the first time since 2008 this month and risking an open flank for German exporters that are the backbone of Europe's largest economy.

Siemens shares fell €1.94, or 3pc, to €62.13 after his comments -- the most in 25 days. The stock has lost 15pc this year, valuing it at €57.2bn. It predicts net income from continuing operations of €5.2bn to €5.4bn in the year through September, down from a €6bn target.

Irish Independent