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.