por Lynn Shapiro
, Writer | January 28, 2009
Loescher noted that the agreement was both "a great relief and a great accomplishment. We now have our head free to really focus on our operational business, on our customer base and going forward, you also have the side benefits that the legal costs will certainly sequentially go down as we progress through the year," he told shareholders.
As far as restructuring efforts are concerned, Loescher said Siemens will concentrate on boosting its profit margins by initiating a €1.2 billion cost cutting program begun last year. He noted that a second restructuring plan would be unveiled in April.
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He said Siemens' strategy is to sell non-core businesses, exiting areas that are either underperforming or in weak market positions or where the company has no say in operational matters, such as its French nuclear power venture with Areva NP.
Siemens largely completed its restructuring measures in fiscal 2008, he said. "The company was reorganized into the three sectors: Industry, Energy and Healthcare, reflecting a rigorous focus on the megatrends: health care, energy efficiency and environmental protection. In a further step, the company increased the transparency and reduced the cost basis of its organization by bundling the administrative tasks at over 70 regional companies into 20 regional clusters," he said.
Loscher summed up fiscal 2008 as one of "reorganization, cost reduction, portfolio alignment and compliance. We're on the right course, and we've quickly made good progress," he told shareholders.
"These are hard times for us, too," he said. "Nevertheless, we refuse to join the chorus of those whose pessimistic statements are dragging down the mood even further. Keenly aware of our abilities, potential and opportunities, we're continuing to pursue our course with self-confidence, strength and determination."
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