European Technology, Media and Telecoms Correspondent
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Feb 26, 2015

Kloeckner & Co sees U.S. as its most attractive market

DUESSELDORF, Germany, Feb 26 (Reuters) – German steel
distributor Kloeckner & Co expects profits this
quarter to be clearly below those of a year ago as price
pressure remains intense in North America, its chief executive
told Reuters in an interview on Thursday.

Gisbert Ruehl said although demand was healthy in North
America the market was oversupplied, with high domestic prices
attracting imports from China and even the European Union. “It’s
not a demand shock, it’s a supply shock,” he said.

Feb 26, 2015

Hochtief targets 2015 profit jump after 2014 beat

FRANKFURT, Feb 26 (Reuters) – German construction group
Hochtief targeted a jump of up to 37 percent in
underlying net profit for the coming year as a restructuring
programme under new Chief Executive Marcelino Fernandez Verdes
takes hold, pushing its shares higher.

Hochtief, controlled by Spain’s ACS, said 2014
underlying net profit rose 46 percent to 252 million euros
($286 million), beating its own guidance and the average
estimate of 239 million euros in a Reuters poll.

Feb 24, 2015

German court rules Nespresso mechanism patent invalid

ZURICH/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – A Nestle patent for a
mechanism in its Nespresso coffee machines has been ruled
invalid by a German court, the latest blow to Nestle’s dominance
of the fastest-growing part of the coffee market.

The ruling is a victory for Switzerland’s Ethical Coffee
Company and others trying to grab a bigger piece of the
single-serve coffee market. It follows other cases in recent
months that have also gone against Nespresso.

Feb 24, 2015

German court rules Nespresso capsule patent invalid

ZURICH/FRANKFORT, Feb 24 (Reuters) – A Nestle
patent for a mechanism in its Nespresso coffee machines has been
ruled invalid by a German court after a rival claimed the
mechanism blocked its Nespresso-compatible capsules from
working.

“The patent was declared void,” the federal German patent
court said in a statement on Tuesday announcing a decision of
Feb. 12.

Feb 23, 2015

Holcim seen stronger than Lafarge in merger run-up

ZURICH/FRANKFURT, Feb 23 (Reuters) – Swiss cement maker
Holcim said its merger with Lafarge was on
track to complete in the first half of the year as it reported a
6 percent rise in fourth-quarter core operating profit on
Monday, outpacing growth at its French peer.

Holcim’s fourth-quarter operating profit (EBITDA) rose to
1.01 billion Swiss francs ($1.06 billion), helped by
faster-than-expected cost-cutting and strong cement sales in
North America, slightly above analysts’ estimates.

Feb 19, 2015

Rheinmetall defence orders offer hope after problems

FRANKFURT, Feb 19 (Reuters) – Germany’s Rheinmetall
reported a 76 percent jump in fourth-quarter orders at
its problem-hit defence division, lifting its shares more than 4
percent on Thursday.

Rheinmetall warned twice on profits last year as Germany
cracked down on arms export licences, forcing it to abandon
plans to supply a combat training centre for Russia and delaying
other projects.

Feb 12, 2015

Bilfinger shares surge on high payout, turnaround hopes

FRANKFURT, Feb 12 (Reuters) – German engineering firm
Bilfinger said it would pay a bigger dividend than
expected and sell its troubled offshore wind division after a
2014 marked by a 35 slide in operating profit and a string of
profit warnings.

The firm’s move towards more profitable services from lower
margin construction and engineering coincided with painful
adjustments key customers such utilities RWE and E.ON
were making as Germany switches to renewable energy.

Feb 6, 2015

Siemens CEO draws restructuring to a close with 7,800 job cuts

MUNICH/FRANKFURT, Feb 6 (Reuters) – Siemens Chief
Executive Joe Kaeser applied the finishing touches to his
overhaul of the German industrial group with the announcement on
Friday of 7,800 job cuts designed to streamline management and
speed decision-making.

The roughly 2 percent cut to the trains-to-turbines group’s
global workforce will generate productivity gains of about 1
billion euros ($1.14 billion) by the end of 2016, Siemens said,
as the company strives to close a profitability gap with rivals
such as General Electric and Switzerland’s ABB.

Feb 5, 2015

China to have most robots in world by 2017

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – China will have more robots operating in its production plants by 2017 than any other country as it cranks up automation of its car and electronics factories, the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) said on Thursday.

Already the biggest market in the $9.5 billion global robot trade — or $29 billion including associated software, peripherals and systems engineering — China lags far behind its more industrialised peers in terms of robot density.

Feb 4, 2015

New Osram CEO to speed up restructuring, rejects split

FRANKFURT, Feb 4 (Reuters) – The new boss of Germany’s Osram
Licht said he wanted to speed up a restructuring at
the company that helped to drive its quarterly operating profit
up 23 percent.

Osram, the world’s second-biggest light maker after Dutch
Philips, has cut thousands of jobs as it seeks to
refocus its business on higher-margin LED lighting, where it is
racing to stay ahead of Asian rivals.

    • About Georgina

      "Currently based in London, with particular responsibility for professional publishers and the European activities of global technology, media and telecoms firms. Previously European technology correspondent based in Frankfurt. Began career in local radio in Glasgow and then worked in TV news for many years for Reuters, the BBC and Sky News in London and Moscow."
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