Nov. 8 - German engineering giant Siemens unveils a 6bln euro cost-cutting plan, more than expected, as it fights to stay competitive in a weak global economy. Hayley Platt reports.
RESENT SCRIPT WITH REPORTER'S NAME IN INTRO 6 billion euros is today's daily digit in Europe - the amount Siemens is cutting to sharpen its game. It's more than analysts were expecting but Siemens says they're necessary to say competitive. Some German media reports suggest up to 10,000 jobs could go. Siemen's chief Peter Loescher wouldn't confirm the numbers, but said job losses were inevitable. SOUNDBITE: Peter Loescher, Chief Executive Officer, Siemens, saying (English): "What we have to drive comprehensively is productivity in the organisation. We have manufacturing, we have a supply chain material productivity, we have different businesses who have different structural challenges. We have to have clear targeted initiatives. And at the end-of-the-day there will be an impact on jobs." The firm which makes everything from trains to hearing aids has failed to react to the weak economy as quickly as some of its rivals. Swiss electronics firm ABB announced 1 billion dollars in cuts last year. And Philips unveiled similar moves last month. The restructure by Siemans comes as fourth quarter profit fell 2 percent to just under one and half billion euro. The drop was partly due to trade sanctions on its oil and gas business imposed by Iran. It's now aiming to increase its margins from 9.5 percent to at least 12 percent by 2014 despite a gloomy outlook. SOUNDBITE: Peter Loescher, Chief Executive Officer, Siemens, saying (English): "We certainly see a slowing global economy and more headwinds versus 2012 and a softening of some of our end markets like the car manufacturing or the tool manufacturing industry." Siemens expects profit to continue to fall until September next year. As its waits for the 6 billion euros worth of cuts to take effect.