Siemens core profits slump

Europe’s biggest engineering conglomerate Siemens suffered an unexpectedly sharp fall in core profit as the European debt crisis squeezed margins. Chief executive Peter Loescher warned yesterday that 2012 would be a difficult year for Germany's largest company by market capitalisation, but stuck with a forecast for flat net income from continuing operations. Siemens said operating profit at its main businesses declined 23 per cent to €1.6bn in its fiscal first quarter. However, pre-tax profits from Siemens Financial Services soared 95 per cent to €199m.