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CRIME

Siemens Q2 results beat expectations

Scandal-hit German engineering giant Siemens on Wednesday posted better than expected quarterly results that included a slew of new orders.

Siemens Q2 results beat expectations
Photo: DPA

Net profit for the third quarter of Siemens’ 2007/2008 fiscal year hit €1.42 billion ($2.21 billion), the company said in a statement.

Although that was a drop of 31 percent from the same quarter a year earlier, it exceeded expectations of analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires, who had forecast an average net profit of €948 million.

The year earlier figure had also benefited from the creation by Siemens of a joint venture with Finnish rival Nokia in the telecommunications network sector. Meanwhile, Siemens said third quarter sales had gained 10 percent to €19.18 billion, and that its order book stood at €23.68 billion, a 21 percent increase that augured well for future profits.

Analysts had expected sales of €18.67 billion and orders of €21.29 billion.

The news should reassure investors that were shocked in March when Siemens revised the values of some of its large contracts, a move which cost it €900 million.

Looking ahead, Siemens chief executive Peter Löscher said that “we still plan to grow at twice the rate of global GDP” or gross domestic product. We shifted Siemens into a higher gear in the third quarter. We are becoming faster, more efficient and more focused as a company.”

The group expected to see full-year operating profit from its three main divisions – industry, energy and medical technologies – of between €8.0 billion to €8.5 billion.

Siemens recently announced it would cut almost 17,000 jobs worldwide, and its supervisory board said Tuesday it would pursue former directors for damages based on a claim they ignored widespread corruption revealed nearly two years ago.

Among the 11 former executives targeted are former Siemens bosses Heinrich von Pierer and Klaus Kleinfeld.

CRIME

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

A 50-year-old German man was jailed for life Tuesday for shooting dead a petrol station cashier because he was angry about being told to wear a mask while buying beer.

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

The September 2021 murder in the western town of Idar-Oberstein shocked Germany, which saw a vocal anti-mask and anti-vaccine movement emerge in response to the government’s coronavirus restrictions.

The row started when 20-year-old student worker Alex W. asked the man to put on a mask inside the shop, as required in all German stores at the time.

After a brief argument, the man left.

The perpetrator – identified only as Mario N. – returned about an hour and a half later, this time wearing a mask. But as he bought his six-pack of beer to the till, he took off his mask and another argument ensued.

He then pulled out a revolver and shot the cashier in the head point-blank.

On Tuesday, the district court in Bad-Kreuznach convicted Mario N. of murder and unlawful possession of a firearm, and handed him a life sentence.

READ ALSO: Shock in Germany after cashier shot dead in Covid mask row

Under German law, people given a life sentence can usually seek parole after 15 years. His defence team had sought a sentence of manslaughter, rather than murder.

At the start of the trial, prosecutor Nicole Frohn told how Mario N. had felt increasingly angry about the measures imposed to curb the pandemic, seeing them as an infringement on his rights.

“Since he knew he couldn’t reach the politicians responsible, he decided to kill him (Alex W.),” she said.

Mario N. turned himself in to police the day after the shooting.

German has relaxed most of its coronavirus rules, although masks are still required in some settings, such as public transport.

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