Coal, Gas

Siemens: Power plant sales to double rate of global growth

31 July 2008 – Europe’s largest engineering company, Siemens, reported third-quarter earnings that beat estimates on increased orders for power plants and generator upgrades in Russia and China.

Bloomberg reported that Siemens forecast sales to grow at twice the rate of the global economy this year and next as it wins contracts to replace obsolete US substations and supply coal-fired plants to China, which is investing $150bn in grid expansion.

Siemens, the number one supplier of high-wind turbines, won an €800m contract to supply Scottish and Southern Energy with 140 turbines for the largest offshore wind farm in Europe. General Electric and Cannon Power earlier placed similar orders worth $1.1bn.

“Rising orders are encouraging,” said Juergen Meyer, a fund manager at SEB Asset Management, with the equivalent of $2.2bn under management. “The boom in power plants will probably continue for a decade thanks to the high energy prices.”

CEO Peter Loescher, hired a year ago after a bribery scandal, is cutting 16750 jobs to match the margins of General Electric and ABB. To improve accountability and cut costs, Loescher bundled Siemens’ nine units into three — industry, energy and healthcare – earlier this year. Siemens presented earnings under its new structure for the first time.

Energy and healthcare led growth, reporting an advance in sales of more than 10 per cent. Orders for factory-automation gear and power-transmission equipment in Asia, Europe and Africa helped counter the effect of a weaker dollar on US sales.