Siemens earnings rise sharply in Q1

Industrial conglomerate Siemens saw a huge rise in first-quarter net profit, bolstered significantly by a one-time sale of assets and beating analysts' expectations, an Associated Press report said.

The Munich-based company, whose diverse products include trams, turbines and telecommunications equipment, saw a first-quarter net profit of 6.48 billion euros ($9.44 billion), up from 788 million euros ($) in the same period a year earlier, the Associated Press report added.

Analysts surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast a profit of 5.37 billion euros ($7.83 billion).

The reports said gains in the quarter from the sale of auto electronics unit VDO to car parts and tiremaker Continental in November contributed 5.4 billion euros ($7.87 billion) to the net profit in the quarter, which ended December 31.

The closely watched group profit from operations came in at 1.72 billion eros ($2.51 billion), up 15% from 1.49 billion euros ($) in the first quarter of fiscal 2007 and above analysts' expectations of 1.54 billion euros ($2.24 billion), the report said.

In its first quarter release, the company said group profit was hurt by costs at Nokia Siemens Networks, the joint venture with Nokia, where restructuring costs totaled 120 million euros ($174.89 million) in the quarter.

First-quarter sales rose 10% to 18.4 billion euros ($26.82 billion), while order intake came in at 24.24 billion euros ($35.33 billion), up 9% from the corresponding period a year earlier, Siemens said.