Siemens sees profits leap after cost cutting

GERMAN engineering group Siemens has reported a big jump in pre-tax profit despite a sales slump.

Siemens has cut its workforce by 22,000 in the past year as well as slashing its administration costs by €2bn (£1.7bn).

Its profit rose 23 per cent in the first quarter to €1.48bn from €1.2bn in the same period a year ago.

But revenue fell to €17.4bn from €19.6bn, largely due to a decline in the industrial sector.

Chief Executive of the Munich-based company Peter Loescher said: "The actions we took at a very early stage are now cushioning us from the ongoing repercussions of the global recession.

"Earnings for the first quarter provide a gratifying snap-shot of the current situation."

But he warned that there was more pain ahead in a difficult economy.

"The crisis is not over. Even though we have every reason to be satisfied with our first quarter, we remain cautious, adjustment measures in specific businesses and single locations are unavoidable."

Analysts had forecast a profit of €950m on sales of €17.9bn.

Loescher also said that uncertainty over US healthcare reforms had hit the medical instruments side of its business.