Net profit rises as Siemens AG moves past one-time charges

FRANKFURT – Industrial equipment maker Siemens AG said quarterly net profit rose 20 per cent as the company moved past one-time charges for delays delivering high-speed trains.

Net profit rose to 1.46 billion euros ($2 billion) in the fourth quarter of 2013, the company’s fiscal first. That was up from 1.21 billion euros a year ago.

Last year the company had 116 million euros in charges connected to delay in production of trains for Germany’s railway company, and a 150 million euro loss at its solar power business. This year’s figure also had stronger gains for real estate sales.

But while the bottom line improved, a stronger euro and slower demand in emerging markets hurt top-line revenues. They were down 3 per cent at 17.325 billion euros.

Orders — a key determiner of future profits — rose 9 per cent. Saudi Arabia helped with a 1.6 billion euro order for two driverless subway lines in the capital, Riyadh.

CEO Joe Kaeser called it a “sound quarter,” adding that “market conditions were not in our favour.”

Siemens said Tuesday expects “challenging” markets this year. It predicted it would grow net profit by 15 per cent, assuming flats sales with currency effects excluded.

The Munich-based company also said it was withdrawing its listing on the New York Stock Exchange. It says the U.S. accounted for less than 5 per cent of its global trading volume and that ending the listing would simplify financial reporting. Siemens has traded as ADRs, or American Depositary Receipts.

Siemens shares rose 1.6 per cent to 98.98 euros in morning trading in Europe.

Siemens makes a wide range of heavy equipment and infrastructure, including trains, power turbines, and medical diagnostic devices.